Skip to main content

Full text of "Poetry"

See other formats


October-March, 1917-8 

Harrfet Monroe 

Reprinted with the permission 
of the original publisher. 

New York 3, N. Y. 


r, // 

Copyright, 1918 

Harriet Monroe 


Page 257, line 4 from foot of page: 
for willow read billou. 

Ralph Fletcher Seymour 
Fine Arts Bldg., Chicago 

A Magazine of Verse 


Associate Editor 
Advisory Committee 

Foreign Correspondent 
Administrative Committee 













Mr. H. C. Chatfield-Taylor 
Mr. Howard Shaw 
Mr. Arthur T. Aldis 
Mr. Edwin S. Fechheimer 
Mrs. Charles H. Hamill 
Mrs. Emmons Elaine (2) 
Mr. Wm. S. Monroe 
Mr. E. A. Bancroft 
Mr. C. L. Hutchinson 
Mrs. Wm. J. Calhoun 
Mrs. P. A. Valentine 
Mr. Charles R. Crane 
Mr. Frederick Sargent 
Mrs. Frank G. Logan 
Mrs. Robert Metz 
Mrs. Bryan Lathrop 

* Deceased 

Mr. Martin A. Ryerson 
Hon. John Barton Payne 
Mr. Thomas D. Jones 
Mr. Charles Deering 
'Mr. Jas. Harvey Peirce 
Mr. Chas. L. Freer 
Mrs. W. F. Dummer 
Mr. Arthur Heun 
Mr. Edward F. Carry 
Mr. Cyrus H. McCormick (2) 
Mr. F. Stuyvesant Peabody 
Mr. Horace S. Oakley 
Mr. Eames MacVeagh 
Mr. Charles G. Dawes 
Miss Kate S. Buckingham 
Mrs. Potter Palmer 

Mr. Owen F. Aldis Mr. Honore Palmer 

Mr. Albert H. Loeb (2) Mrs. F. A. Hardy 

The Misses Skinner Mr. E. P. Ripley 

Misses Alice E. and Margaret D. Mr. Ernest MacDonald Bowman 

Moran Mrs. William R. Linn 

Miss Mary Rozet Smith Mrs. Roy McWilliams 

{ Mrs. James B. Waller Mr. Benjamin V. Becker 

I Mr. John Borden Mrs. Francis H. Leggett 

| Mrs. H. M. Wilmarth Mrs. Ernest MacDonald Bowman 

( Mrs. Clarence I. Peck Mrs. Walter L. Brewster 

Mr. Clarence M. Woolley Mr. George F. Porter 

Mr. John S. Miller Mrs. Emanuel Haldeman-Julius 

Mr. Edward P. Russell Mrs. Charles A. Chapin 

Mrs. Frank O. Lowden Mr. Arthur J. Eddy 

Miss Helen Louise Birch Mr. S. O. Levfason 

Mr. Rufus G. Dawes Miss Dorothy North 

Mr. Gilbert E. Porter Mrs. F. Louis Slade 

Mr. Alfred L. Baker Mrs. Julius Rosenwald 

Mr. George A. McKinlock Mrs. Andrea Hofer Proudfoot 

Mr. John S. Field Mrs. Arthur T. Aldis 

Mrs. Samuel Insull Mrs. Robert Hotz 

Mr. A. G. Becker Mrs. George W. Mister 
Also, a few lovers of the art who prefer to remain anonymous. 

Others besides these guarantors who testify to their appreciation of the 
mapazine by generous gifts are: 

Mr. Edward L. Ryerson Mr. Ernest A. Hamill 

Miss Amy Lowell Mrs. Byron L. Smith 

Mrs. F. C. Letts 

The editor deeply regrets to record the death of one of POETRY'S 
guarantors during the past half-year. Mr. Tames Harvey Peirce, the well- 
known Chicago lawyer, who died in December, was always a loyal friend, 
and a generous supporter of whatever he believed in. 

The editor has entered upon POETRY'S second five-year period with a 
renewed confidence in the need of such an organ for the art, a confidence 
supported by proofs too strong to be resisted; and with renewed confidence 
also in the readiness of the people to support the enterprise. by endowment 
and subscriptions. Besides the guarantors above listed about fifty Supporting 
Subscribers contribute ten dollars a year each to the Fund.. For the gen- 
erosity and the good will of all POETRY'S patrons and subscribers the editor 
expresses her grateful acknowledgments. 




Benet, William Rose: FACE 

The Price 6 

Birch, Helen Louise: 

Mid-October 10 

Up in the Hills n 

Can This be All? n 

Artist ii 

Music 12 

Forewarned 12 

Prophets 13 

A Voice Breaks in upon the Silence 13 

Black, John: 

A Poet's Epitaph 71 

Boogher, Susan M.: 

Alchemy 304 

The Harlot's Child 304 

War 305 

Browne. Maurice: 

Silence of the Night Mil 240 

Brownell, Baker: 

Departure 312 

The Number 313 

Reveille 314 

On the Road 314 

Southward 315 

Major Fitzpatrick 316 

Freebourne's Rifle 316 

Private Rausch 317 

The Hurricane 318 

Taps 319 

Buss, Kate: 

The Dead Pecos Town 81 

Camevali, Emanuel : 


In this Hotel 298 

His Majesty the Letter-Carrier 299 

Drolatique-Serieux 100 

When it has Passed 301 

To the Poets 301 

Sentimental Dirge 302 

Chocano, Jose Santos: (Translated by John Pierrepont Rice) 

Oda Salvaje 229 

A Song of the Road 211 

El Charro ass 

The Magnolia 236 

Coates, Archie Austin: 

Lavender , 73 

Conkling, Grace Hazard: 


Guadalupe 129 

Popocatepetl 129 

Huasteca 130 

Tampico 130 



Cuernavaca J3I 

Durango - 131 

Orizaba I32 

Amecamfica I32 

Vera Cruz I33 

San Luis Potosi 133 


Los Conquistadores 8* 

Corbin, Alice: 

Three Men Entered the Desert Alone . 81 

Old Timer 85 

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo 86 

In the Sierras . 87 

A Song from Old Spain 88 

Cox, Eleanor Rogers: 

To a Portrait of Whistler in the Brooklyn Art Museum . 24 

Whistler's White Girl . . 2 < 

Cromwell, Gladys: 


Folded Power 1O j6 

The Mould ." . 306 

Autumn Communion 307 

Star Song 3 o 9 

Curran, Edunn: 

The March Thaw 3IO 

Deutsch, Babette: 

Sea-Music > 191 

Drinkwater, John: 

Reciprocity 68 

Driscoll, Louise: 

Old Roofs MI 237 

Harbury 238 

Dudley, Dorothy: 

Pine River Bay 124 

Dudley, Helen: 

Reed-Song 128 

Dirge 128 

Eddy, Lucy: 


Iris 248 

The Flowering Acacia 248 

Ophelia Roses 248 

Red Eucalyptus Blossoms 249 

The Jacaranda 249 

The Olive Tree 249 

Bougainvillea 249 

Sea-gardens Avalon 250 

New-born 251 

Lullabies MI ' . 251 

The Singing Sands 251 

Fletcher, John Gould: 

Lake Front at Night 139 

The Monadnock 140 

La Salle Street Evening 140 

War Angles I-III 141 

Flint, F. S.: 

Children 192 

In the Cathedral 193 


Frank, Florence Kiper: JAGI 

With Child 136 

Attack 136 

The Moment 136 

Afterwards 137 

Within My Arms 137 

Granville, Charles: 


For Parents of the Slain 187 

The Question 188 

The Mourner 188 

The Bayonet Charge 188 

Under Orders , . 189 

Grudin, Louis: 


Hecht Ben: 

Snow Monotones 246 

Joyce, James: 

On the Beach at Fontana 70 

Alone 70 

She Weeps Over Rahoon 71 

Kreymborg, Alfred: 

When the Willow Nods 287 

Lindsay, Vachel: 

The Soap-box 14 

How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza 17 

Lowell, Amy: 

The Landlady of the Whinton Inn Tells a Story 171 

Marlatt, Earl: 

Love Untold 134 

People 135 

Masters, Edgar Lee: 


Song of Men i 

Song of Women 3 

Song of the Human Spirit 4 

Mastin, Florence Ripley 


Ameiicus 195 

Roderick 195 

Lucretia 196 

Isidor 196 

David 196 

Michelson, Max : 

The Tired Woman 255 

Mixter, Florence K.: 

To a Child MI 138 

Monroe, Harriet: 

Vernon Castle 311 

O'Neil, David: 


Child Eyes 74 

Freedom 74 

Human Chords 74 

Enslaved 75 

The Peasants 75 

The Beach 75 

Reaches of the Desert 76 

The Ascent 76 


Peeples, Lucia: PAGE 

Mine 197 

Rice. John Pierrepont: (See Chocano) 
Rich, H. Thompson: 

I Come Singing 67 

Afterwards 67 

Sandburg, Carl: 

The Four Brothers 59 

Seiffert, Marjorie Allen: 

November 69 

Selva, Salomon de la: 

My Nicaragua 77 


The Tiny Maiden 79 

The Merchant 80 

Sifton, Paul F. : 

Wolverine Winter 190 

Slater Mary White: 

Barefoot Sandals 72 

Stevens, Wallace: 

Carlos Among the Candles 115 

Waley Arthur (Translator): 

Shan$ Ya ....... 198 

On Finding a Hairpin in a Disused Well . 198 

What Should a Man Want? 199 

In a Jade Cup 199 

On the Birth of a Son 199 

The Pedlar of Spells 200 

On Seeing Swallows in His Prison-cell 200 

The Orphan 252 

Fighting at Lung-tou 254 

On Barbarous Modern Instruments 254 

Wattles, Willard: 

Hrolfs Thrall His Song 20 

Difference 20 

A Song of No Consequence 21 

Heaven 22 

The Builder 22 

Ding Donfr Bell 23 

Widdemer, Margaret: 

Youth-song 6 

Vain Hiding 27 

I Did not Know 28 

Prescience 28 

Wood, Clement: 

O Dear Brown Lands 125 

Coin of the Year .... 125 

Yeats, William Butler: 

Ego Dominus Titus 29 




These Five Years, H. M 33 


Hodgson's Poems, A. C. H. 41 

Poems, by Ralph Hodgson 

Four Young Poets, H. M. and A. C. H 44 

Asphalt, by Orrick Johns; Streets and Faces, by Scudder 
Middleton; Swords for Life, by Irene Rutherford 
McLeod; The Dance of Youth, by Julia Cooley 

A Poet's Upbringing, P. C. 51 

Reveries Over Childhood and Youth, by William Butler 


A Note from Mr. Lindsay, Vachel Lindsay 54 

The Poetry Theatre League, Alter Brody 55 

That Cowboy Poem, William H. Skaling 56 

Good-bye to Eunice Tietjens, Carl Sandburg 56 

A Word to the Carping Crit'c, H, M 89 

Irony, Laforgue, and Some Satire, Ezra Pound 93 


William H. Davfc-s, Poet, Ezra Pound 09 

Collected Poems, by William H. Davies 

A Modern Solitary, H. M 103 

Ideal Passton Sonnets, by George Edward Woodberry 
George Edward Woodberry a Study of his Poetry, by 
Louis V. Ledoux 

The Old Gods, H. M 105 

The Story of Eleusisa Lyrical Drama, by Louis V. 

Yedra, a Tragedy, by Louis V. Ledoux 

For Children, H. M ie6 

Songs of Childhood, by Walter de la Mare 

Other Books of Verse, H. M. and H. H 107 

Verses, by Hilaire Belloc 
Pilgrimage, by Eric Shepherd 
City Dust, by Jane Burr 

Coals of Fire from the Cowboy Poet, Badger Clark 109 

Announcement of Awards in 

Christmas and War, H. M 144 

Again the Negro, Natalie Curtis 147 


Miss Lowell on Tendencies, H. M 151 

Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, by Amy Lowell 

A Poet of the Present, Amy Lowell 157 

These Times, by Louis Untermeyer 

Song and Propaganda, Dorothy Dudley 164 

Roads and What is Your Legion f by Grace Fallow Norton 


About Emerson, Ernest Nelson 166 

Fifty Years Since Baudelaire, Theodore Stanton 168 

Little Theatres and Poetic Plays, H. M 201 

American Verse and English Critics, A. C. H 207 

On Being Reviewed, Alfred Kreymborg 212 


Still Alive, H. M. 314 

The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems, by Vachel 

Wind in the Corn, H. M 218 

The Wind in the Corn and Other Poems, by Edith Frank- 
lin Wyatt 

Mr. Oppenheim's Book, H. H 219 

The Book of Self, by James Oppenhcim 

Divinations, H. M . 222 

Divinations and Creation, by Horace Holley 

The Yeats Letters, E. P 223 

Passages from the Letters of John Butler Yeats, selected 
by Ezra Pound 

A Back Number, H. M 225 

Retrogression and Other Poems, by William Watson 
Pencraft: a Plea for the Older Ways, by William Watson 

Jose Santos Chocano, John Pierrepont Rice 260 

The Hard and the Soft in French Poetry, E. P 264 

Back to China, H. M 271 


Anthologies and Translations, H. H. and Ellen Fitzgerald . . . 274 
Others, An Anthology of the New Verse, edited by Alfred 

The Answering Voice One Hundred Love Lyrics by 

Women, selected by Sara Teasdale 

Poems of Heinrich Heine, Selected and Translated by 
Louis Untermeyer 

Strains of Yesterday, Salomon de la Selva . . 281 

Glad of Earth, by Clement Wood 
Main Street and Other Poems, by Joyce Kilmer 

Academic Back-water, H. M 283 

The War and the Artist, H. M 320 


Swinburne versus Biographers. Ezra Pound 322 

Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne, by Edmund Gosse, 
Q B. 

A Glass-blower of Time, Max Michelson 330 

Lustra, by Ezra Pound 

A Group of English Contemporaries, A. C. H 333 

An Annual of New Poetry, 1917 

Imagism: Secular and Esoteric, A. C. H 339 

Some Imagist Poets, 1917 
Notes 57, "3, 169, 227, 285, 343 


No. I 
A Magazine of Verse 

OCTOBER, 1917 



HOW beautiful are the bodies of men 
The agonists! 

Their hearts beat deep as a brazen gong 
For their strength's behests. 
Their arms are lithe as a seasoned thong 
In games or tests 

When they run or box or swim the long 
Sea-wave crests 

With their slender legs, and their hips so strong, 
And their rounded chests. 

I know a youth who raises his arms 
Over his head. 

He laughs and stretches and flouts alarms 
Of flood or fire. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

He springs renewed from a lusty bed 
To his youth's desire. 
He drowses, for April flames outspread 
In his soul's attire. 

The strength of men is for husbandry 

Of woman's flesh : 

Worker, soldier, magistrate 

Of city or realm; 

Artist, builder, wrestling Fate 

Lest it overwhelm 

The brood or the race, or the cherished state. 

They sing at the helm 

When the waters roar and the waves are great, 

And the gale is fresh. 

There are two miracles, women and men 

Yea, four there be: 

A woman's flesh, and the strength of a man, 

And God's decree, 

And a babe from the womb in a little span 

Ere the month be ten. 

Their rapturous arms entwine and cling 

In the depths of night; 

He hunts for her face for his wondering, 

And her eyes are bright. 

A woman's flesh is soil, but the spring 

Is man's delight. 


Edgar Lee Masters 


How beautiful is the flesh of women 

Their throats, their breasts! 

My wonder is a flame which burns, 

A flame which rests; 

It is a flame which no wind turns, 

And a flame which quests. 

I know a woman who has red lips, 

Like coals which are fanned. 

Her throat is tied narcissus, it dips 

From her white-rose chin. 

Her throat curves like a cloud to the land 

Where her breasts begin 

I close my eyes when I put my hand 

On her breast's white skin. 

The flesh of woman is like the sky 

When bare is the moon : 

Rhythm of backs, hollow of necks, 

And sea-shell loins. 

I know a woman whose splendors vex 

Where the flesh joins 

A slope of light and a circumflex 

Of clefts and coigns. 

She thrills like the air when silence wrecks 

An ended tune. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

These are things not made by hands in the earth 

Water and fire, 

The air of heaven, and springs afresh, 

And love's desire. 

And a thing not made is a woman's flesh, 

Sorrow and mirth! 

She tightens the strings on the lyric lyre, 

And she drips the wine. 

Her breasts bud out as pink and nesh 

As buds on the vine: 

For fire and water and air are flesh, 

And love is the shrine. 


How beautiful is the human spirit 

In its vase of clay! 

It takes no thought of the chary dole 

Of the light of day. 

It labors and loves as it were a soul 

Whom the gods repay 

With length of life and a golden goal 

At the end of the way. 

'Fhere are souls I know who arch a dome, 

And tunnel a hill. 

They chisel in marble and fashion in chrome, 


Edgar Lee Masters 

And measure the sky. 

They find the good and destroy the ill, 

And they bend and ply 

The laws of nature out of a will 

While the fates deny. 

I wonder and worship the human spirit 

When I behold 

Numbers and symbols, and how they reach 

Through steel and gold ; 

A harp, a battle-ship, thought and speech, 

And an hour foretold. 

It ponders its nature to turn and teach, 

And itself to mould. 

The human spirit is God, no doubt, 

In flesh made the word: 

Jesus, Beethoven and Raphael, 

And the souls who heard 

Beyond the rim of the world the swell 

Of an ocean stirred 

By a Power on the waters inscrutable. 

There are souls who gird 

Their loins in faith that the world is well, 

In a faith unblurred. 

How beautiful is the human spirit 

The flesh made the word ! 

Edgar Lee Masters 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

What is it you buy with so much blood 

And so much sorrow? 
A thing but darkly understood 

We buy Tomorrow. 

Why is it you sow with blasting flame 

To reap with passion f 
When was it then that a good thing came 

In an easy fashion? 

Have you not also fallen and sinned? 

You are sin to the marrow! 
We are but as straws that show the wind, 

As blades to the harrow. 

Iniquity, iniquity, 

Though much befriended, 
Yet it shall perish utterly; 

It shall be ended! 

Do you see then an end of wars, 

An end of weeping? 
We see the reticent ranks of stars 

Shine on our sleeping. 


William Rose Benet 

We hear the great earth sigh and turn, 

And the seas sighing; 
And the angry sunsets flame and burn 

With old dreams dying. 

But earlier than the early dawn, 

So chill, so grayly, 
Comes that which never is withdrawn, 

Comes to us daily, 

Comes to us, after every mood 

Of pain or passion 
The certitude, the certitude 

Of what we fashion! 

Are you so devout, who never trod 

'Neath spire or steeple? 
But we have spoken with our God, 

The God of the People. 

Our blood the dye, his robe the sod 

That we lie under; 
We have heard the still voice of our God 

Through flame and thunder. 

What are these wild words of some change 

You bring to being? 
We only know it shall be strange 

Beyond foreseeing! 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

We have lain down, we have stood up 

( Past all dissembling ! ) 
With Death, with Death. We have quaffed the cup, 

The cup of trembling. . . 

So we but whisper brokenly, 

As dead men do, 
The great strange things that are to be," 

That shall come true. 

For we are blinded, and we see; 

Deaf, and have ears; 
Despoiled, and co-heirs perfectly 

Of coming years. 

Life higher than we ever thought, 

Deeper than death 
This with our life-blood we have bought, 

With our vain breath. 

Over fire-curtained slime of the fen, 

Through insensate clamo^ 
We have heard the building thoughts of men 

Hammer and hammer. 

We have heard the splitting of codes apart, 

The ripping of glamour 
Like colored curtains, and Man's strong heart 

Hammer and hammer. 


William Rose Benet 

We have heard the sledges of a state 

Beyond our hoping 
Thunder and thunder. We are great 

Who once were groping. 

Out of the slag and fume of the pit 

We have seen uprearing 
A blinding witness; because of it 

We are done with fearing. 

Out of the bowels of Hell-on-earth 

We have seen upstraining 
A winged archangel of rebirth 

Too strong for chaining. 

Now ours is the strength, ours is the might 

Yea, by these powers, 
Ours is the earth for light and right, 

And the future ours, 

Who have rent our hearts, our blood outpoured, 

Who have drunk all sorrow, 
Who have found our strength, walked with our Lord, 

And bought Tomorrow! 

William Rose Benet 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Leaves whirl about my feet; 

Leaves, leaves dance over my head 

Brown leaves. 

And their madness and love of death blow through my heart. 

(Oh, the perfume of these drifting golden leaves!) 

What wine can stain the soul with redder glory 
Than this wild, sudden thirst for sudden death? 

They rise like clouds of incense 

From swift-swinging golden censers 

Clouds and clouds! 

And the western sky is a glow of light 

As yellow and white as the face of a Christian saint. 

Autumn, autumn ! 

I will not live! 

I'll go now, now, with all my memories and my joys. 

I will not live 

To have them blown 

Like ashes from an altar by capricious winds. 


Helen Louise Birch 


The earth smells old and warm and mellow, and all things 
lie at peace. 

I too serenely lie here under the white-oak tree, and know 
the splendid flight of hours all blue and gay, sun- 
drenched and still. 

The dogs chase rabbits through the hazel-brush; 

I hear now close at hand their eager cries, now swift reced- 
ing into the distance, leaving a-trail behind them in the 
clear sweet air shrill bursts of joy. 

There's something almost drowsy in that waning clamor; 

It brings the stillness nearer and a sense of being bodily at 
one with the old warm earth, 

Blessedly at one with the fragrant laughing sun-baked earth, 

At one with its sly delightful wicked old laughter. 


Can this be all? 

Can this unfinished thing be called complete, 

And I be left to face it thus forever, 

Forever to twist and turn, remould and tint anew? 


Bird, whose eyes I cannot see, 

Whose flight is beautiful, 

From your wings in passing 

Bright plumage is drifting down to us. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


The house is still. 

The very pictures on the walls have lost their painted 


The place seems new and strangely vacant. 
I see the old brown Chinese figure in the panel facing me; 

he has a look of stupid blankness that is utterly new. 
The three big dogs asleep here at my feet 
What cabalistic word will be required to rouse them from 

their almost deathlike slumbers? 
So still so still the house 
My heart so still. 
And I might lift my head and speak and move about and 

change all this, 

But that I know what thing has made it so; 
Whose absence the place can feel, 
Whose voice is heard no more. 
And I think of the great free-sounding melodies that filled 

the room 

Great silhouettes that passed 
And clear full living tones that live no longer. 

This is the lifeless vacuum left by the passage of the storm. 


What have I to do with the world? 
What has the world to do with me 


Helen Louise Birch 

Who know now that in the end I must have traffic 
Only with the things of my own spirit. 


Prophet of joy! 

Before ever the deed lived, you came. 

Be the fulfilment what it was, 

I do prostrate myself for love and lay here at your feet my 
heart of thanks. 

Prophet of evil ! 

It is now your hour! 





Winding through some unsensed aerial channel; 

With subtle solace and challenging, it comes 

Suddenly I know that it is there : 

"Alert Alert Arise!" 

Whatever the day bring forth, that will I greet 
Having drunk divinely, divinely, of the dawn ! 

Helen Louise Birch 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


"This my song is made for Kerensky." 

O market square, O slattern place, 
Is glory in your slack disgrace? 
Plump quack doctors sell their pills, 
Gentle grafters sell brass watches, 
Silly anarchists yell their ills. 
Shall we be as weird as these 
In the breezes nod and wheeze? 

Heaven s mass is sung, 
Tomorrow's mass is sung 
In a spirit tongue 
By wind and dust and birds : 
The high mass of liberty, 
While wave the banners red, 
Sung round the soap-box 
A mass for soldiers dead. 

When you leave your faction in the once-loved hall, 

Like a true American tongue-lash them all; 

Stand then on the corner under starry skies, 

And get you a gang of the worn and the wise. 

The soldiers of the Lord may be squeaky when they rally, 

The soldiers of the Lord are a queer little army; 

But the soldiers of the Lord, before the year is through, 

Will gather the whole nation, recruit all creation, 

To smite the hosts abhorred and all the heavens renew ; 


Vachel Lindsay 

Enforcing with the bayonet the thing the ages teach 
Free speech! 
Free speech! 

Down with the Prussians, and all their works ! 

Down with the Turks! 

Down with every army that rights against the soap-box 

The Pericles, Socrates, Diogenes soap-box, 

The old-Elijah, Jeremiah, John-the-Baptist soap-box, 

The Rousseau, Mirabeau, Danton soap-box, 

The Karl-Marx, Henry-George, Wood row- Wilson soap-box. 

We will make the wide earth safe for the soap-box, 

The everlasting foe of beastliness and tyranny, 

Platform of liberty Magna Charta liberty, 

Andrew Jackson liberty, bleeding-Kansas liberty, 

New-born Russian liberty: 

Battleship of thought, the round world over, 

Loved by the red-hearted, 

Loved by the broken-hearted, 

Fair young amazon or proud tough rover; 

Loved by the lion, 

Loved by the lion, 

Loved by the lion! 

Feared by the fox. 

Death at the bedstead of every Kaiser knocks. 
The Hohenzollern army shall be felled like the ox. 
The fatal hour is striking in all the doomsday clocks ; 
The while, by freedom's alchemy, 
Beauty is born. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Ring every sleigh-bell, ring every church bell, 

Blow the clear trumpet and listen for the answer 

The blast from the sky of the Gabriel horn. 

Hail the Russian picture around the little box: 


Troops in files, 

Generals in uniform, 

Mujiks in their smocks, 

And holy maiden soldiers who have cut away their locks. 

All the people of the world, little folk and great, 

Are tramping through the Russian Soul as through a city 

As though it were a street of stars that paves the shadowy 

And mighty Tolstoi leads the van along the stairway steep. 

But now the people shout: 

"Hail to Kerensky he hurled the tyrants out!" 
And this my song is made for Kerensky, 
Prophet of the world-wide intolerable hope 
There on the soap-box, seasoned, dauntless, 
There amid the Russian celestial kaleidoscope, 
Flags of liberty, rags and battlesmoke. 

Moscow ! Chicago ! 
Come let us praise battling Kerensky ! 
Bravo! bravo! 

Comrade Kerensky, thunderstorm and rainbow, 
Comrade Kerensky, bravo, bravo! 




A Negro Sermon 

Once, in a night as black as ink, 

She drove him out when he would not drink. 

Round the house there were men in wait 

Asleep in rows by the Gaza gate. 

But the Holy Spirit was in this man. 

Like a gentle wind he crept and ran. 

("It is midnight," said the big town clock.) 

He lifted the gates up, post and lock. 
The hole in the wall was high and wide 
When he bore away old Gaza's pride 
Into the deep of the night: 
The bold Jack- Johnson Israelite 
Samson, the Judge, the Nazarite. 

The air was black, like the smoke of a dragon. 

Samson's heart was as big as a wagon. 

He sang like a shining golden fountain ; 

He sweated up to the top of the mountain. 

He threw down the gates with a noise like judgment. 

And the quails all ran with the big arousement. 

But he wept : "I must not love tough queens, 
And spend on them my hard-earned means. 
I told that girl I would drink no more. 
Therefore she drove me from her door. 
Oh, sorrow, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


I cannot hide! 

Lord, look down from your chariot side ! 
You made me Judge, and I am not wise; 

1 am weak as a sheep for all my size." 

Let Samson 
Be coming 
Into your mind. 

The moon shone out, the stars were gay 
He saw the foxes run and play. 
He rent his garments, he rolled around 
In deep repentance on the ground. 

Then he felt a honey in his soul ; 

Grace abounding made him whole. 

Then he saw the Lord in a chariot blue. 

The gorgeous stallions whinnied and flew; 

The iron wheels hummed an old hymn-tune 

And crunched in thunder over the moon. 

And Samson shouted to the sky: 

"My Lord, my Lord is riding high." 

Like a steed, he pawed the gates with his hoof ; 

He rattled the gates like rocks on the roof, 

And danced in the night 

On the mountain-top; 

Danced in the deep of the night 

The Judge, the holy Nazarite, 

Whom ropes and chains could never bind. 


Vachel Lindsay 

Let Samson 
Be coming 
Into your mind. 

Whirling his arms, like a top he sped; 
His long black hair flew around his head 
Like an outstretched net of silky cord, 
Like a wheel of the chariot of the Lord. 

Let Samson 
Be coming 
Into your mind. 

Samson saw the sun anew. 

He left the gates in the grass and dew. 

He went to a county-seat a-nigh, 

Found a harlot proud and high, 

Philistine that no man could tame 

Delilah was her lady-name. 

Oh, sorrow, 


She was too wise! 

She cut off his hair, 

She put out his eyes. 

Let Samson 
Be coming 
Into your mind. 

Vachel Lindsay 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


There be five things to a man's desire: 
Kine flesh, roof-tree, his own fire, 
Clean cup of sweet wine from goat's hide, 
And through dark night one to lie beside. 

Four things poor and homely be: 
Hearth-fire, white cheese, own roof-tree, 
True mead slow brewed with brown malt; 
But a good woman is savor and salt. 

Plow, shove deep through gray loam ; 
Hack, sword, hack for straw-thatch home; 
Guard, buckler, guard both beast and human; 
God, send true man his true woman! 


There was one who hated, 

Then came to comprehend. 
It is too late I do not care 

How very low he bend. 

There was one who loved me 
I paid the punctual debt. 


Willard Wattles 

I cannot quite remember, 
Yet cannot quite forget. 

There was one I died for 

Several years ago: 
How helpless seems a summer nest 

Drifted full of snow! 


This too delicious burden, 

This too persistent urge, 
This aching and this beauty, 

And the answer of her breast: 
This is her glowing guerdon, 

And this my utter rest. 

Take loveliness and wonder, 
Take splendor and take pain, 

Clean lightning and brave thunder, 
The silver slant of rain, 

And one white flower thereunder 
That lifts her face again. 

Love, love, love, love 
The morning star is slain. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Ah God, that love should be 
Another road to pain, 

And beauty as it blossoms 
By its own terror slain! 

Still if death were not 
Another way to love, 

There were little need of heaven 
That sages whisper of. 


Smoothing a cypress beam 
With a scarred hand 

I saw a carpenter 
In a far land. 

Down past the flat roofs 
Poured the white sun ; 

But still he bent his back, 
The patient one. 

And I paused surprised 
In that queer place 

To find an old man 
With a haunting face. 


Willard Wattles 

"Who art thou, carpenter 
Of the bowed head; 

And what buildest thou?" 
"Heaven," he said. 


Ashes to ashes, dust to dust 

Lords and ladies and loves and lust, 

Gray old mothers in the sun, 

Men grown listless when work is done 

Ashes to ashes, the folded tent, 

The pitcher shattered, the wonder spent. 

Ashes to ashes, dust and rest 

Blazoned glory, but sleep is best. 

Once there was clinging and a white breast small, 

But lying alone is best of all. 

Overhead the dead stars sweep 

Night and ashes, dust and sleep. 

Willard Wattles 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


What waspish whim of Fate 

Was this that bade you here 
Hold dim, unhonored state, 

No single courtier near? 

Is there, of all who pass, 

No choice, discerning few 
To poise the ribboned glass 

And gaze enwrapt on you ? 

Sword-soul that from its sheath 
Laughed leaping to the fray, 

How calmly underneath 
Goes Brooklyn on her way! 

Quite heedless of that smile 

Half-devil and half-god, 
Your quite unequalled style, 

The airy heights you trod. 

Ah, could you from earth's breast 

Come back to take the air, 
What matter here for jest 

Most exquisite and rare! 

But since you may not come, 
Since silence holds you fast, 


Eleanor Rogers Cox 

Since all your quips are dumb 
And all your laughter past 

I give you mine instead, 
And something with it too 

That Brooklyn leaves unsaid 
Your meed of homage due. 

Ah, Prince, you smile again 
"My faith, the court is small !" 

I know, dear James but then 
It's I or none at all ! 


She heard the whisper of the stars, 

She heard the falling of the dew, 
And all the untrod virgin ways 

Of Beauty's self she knew. 

And when the moon lay silver-white 
Along the meadows and the streams, 

She walked across the night to him 
Upon a bridge of dreams. 

And as upon his eyelids there, 

She shone so wonder-white to see, 
What could he give her more or less 

Than immortality? 

Eleanor Rogers Cox 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


I wish I were old now, 
And maybe content: 

I'd look back the long way 
My footsteps were bent, 

And say, " 'Tis all done now 
What odds how it went ?" 

For all would look smooth then 
And most would look gay ; 

And "Oh, I was sure then 
And strong then," I'd say, 

And show the wild young things 
My wise-travelled way. 

I'd have naught to strive for 
And no thoughts to form, 

But how to rest easy 

And how to sleep warm, 

And "Pity the poor souls 
Abroad in the storm!" 

I wish I were old now 
With living put by, 
And peace on the hearthstone 


Margaret Widdemer 

And peace in the sky. 
But "Oh, to be young now, 
But young now!" they cry! 


I said, "I shall find peace now, for my love has never been 

Here in the little room, in the quiet place ; 
The walls shall not quiver around me, nor fires begin, 

And I shall forget his voice and perhaps his face, 

And be still for a little space." 

But the thought of my love beat wild against the silencing 


There in the quivering air, in the throbbing room, 
Till his step strode quick and light against the echoing 


And the light of his voice was there for the placid gloom 
And his presence a shed perfume. 

So I said, "There is no peace more, for the place can never be 
Where the thought of him cannot come, cannot burn me 

For the thought of his touch is my flesh, and his voice is a 

voice in me, 

And what is the use of all you may say and do 
When love is a part of you ?" 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


I did not know that I should miss you, 

So silver-soft your loving came 
There were no trumpets down the dawning, 

There were no leaping tides of flame : 

Only a peace like still rain falling 

On a tired land with drought foredone, 

Only a warmth like light soft lying 
On a shut place that had not sun. 

I did not know that I should miss you . . . 

I only miss you, day and night, 
Stilly, as earth would miss the rainfall; 

Always, as earth would miss the light. 


I went to sleep smiling, 

I wakened despairing 
Where was my soul, 

On what terror-path faring? 
What thing shall befall me 

By midnight or noon? 
What does my soul know 

That I shall know soon? 

Margaret Widdemer 




On the grey sand beside the shallow stream, 

Under your old wind-beaten tower, where still 

A lamp burns on beside the open book 

That Michael Robartes left, you walk in the moon; 

And though you have passed the best of life still trace, 

Enthralled by the unconquerable delusion, 

Magical shapes. 


By the help of an image 
I call to my own opposite, summon all 
That I have handled least, least looked upon. 


And I would find myself and not an image. 


That is our modern hope, and by its light 
We have lit upon the gentle, sensitive mind 
And lost the old nonchalance of the hand. 
Whether we have chosen chisel, pen or brush 
We are but critics, or but half create, 
Timid, entangled, empty and abashed, 
Lacking the countenance of our friends. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


And yet 

The chief imagination of Christendom 
Dante Alighieri so utterly found himself 
That he has made that hollow face of his 
More plain to the mind's eye than any face 
But that of Christ. 


And did he find himself, 
Or was the hunger that had made it hollow 
A hunger for the apple on the bough 
Most out of reach ? and is that spectral image 
The man that Lapo and that Guido knew? 
I think he fashioned from his opposite 
An image that might have been a stony face, 
Staring upon a bedouin's horse-hair roof 
From doored and windowed cliff, or half upturned 
Among the coarse grass and the camel dung. 
He set his chisel to the hardest stone. 
Being mocked by Guido for his lecherous life, 
Derided and deriding, driven out 
To climb that stair and eat that bitter bread, 
He found the unpersuadable justice, he found 
The most exalted lady loved by a man. 


Yet surely there are men who have made their art 
Out of no tragic war lovers of life, 


William Butler Yeats 

Impulsive men that look for happiness 
And sing when they have found it. 


No, not sing; 

For those that love the world serve it in action, 
Grow rich, popular and full of influence, 
And should they paint or write still it is action : 
The struggle of the fly in marmalade. 
The rhetorician would deceive his neighbors, 
The sentimentalist himself ; while art 
Is but a vision of reality. 
What portion in the world can the artist have 
Who has awakened from the common dream, 
But dissipation and despair? 


And yet 

No one denies to Keats love of the world. 
Remember his deliberate happfness. 


His art is happy, but who knows his mind? 

I see a school-boy when I think of him 

With face and nose pressed to a sweet-shop window. 

For certainly he sank into his grave 

His senses and his heart unsatisfied, 

And made being poor, ailing and ignorant, 

Shut out from all the luxury of the world, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The ill-bred son of a livery-stable keeper 
Luxuriant song. 


Why should you leave the lamp 
Burning alone beside an open book, 
And trace these characters upon the sands? 
A style is found by sedentary toil 
And by the imitation of great masters. 


Because I seek an image not a book, 

Those men that in their writings are most wise 

Own nothing but their blind, stupified hearts. 

I call to the mysterious one who yet 

Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream 

And look most like me, being indeed my double, 

And prove if all imaginable things 

The most unlike, being my anti-self, 

And standing by these characters disclose 

All that I seek; and whisper it as though 

He were afraid the birds, who cry aloud 

Their momentary cries before it is dawn, 

Would carry it away to blasphemous men. 

William Butler Yeats 




WITH the present number POETRY celebrates its fifth 
birthday, and begins its eleventh volume and sixth 
year. The occasion seems appropriate for a few changes, 
either advisable or necessary. In the former class are the 
new cover, the inside table of contents, and a few slight 
typographical differences which our old friends will note. In 
the latter class are the changes in price and in paper required 
by the heavily increased cost of all materials and expenses 
during this period of war. 

The present number inaugurates also what might be called 
the second period of our history, since the magazine began 
under a five-year endowment which expired with the Septem- 
ber number, and will continue, it is hoped, under a second 
similar endowment of which about two-thirds has been 
already subscribed. Thus we may have reached the psycho- 
logical moment for confidential reminiscence and examina- 
tion of conscience. That searching question, "What hast 
thou done with thy stewardship?" may well demand an 
answer. We have assumed to be the organ of a great art, 
the exhibition-place for its best current products. We have 
demanded as the poets' right, and spent for their benefit (or 
at least tried to), over five thousand a year of our guarantors' 
money, besides a smaller amount from subscribers and ad- 
vertisers. In so doing we have placed before the people 
indeed, we have uttered with a loud voice the claim of 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

poetry, and the artists who practice it, to that public recog- 
nition of sympathy and financial support which is granted, 
unquestioningly and in lavish measure, to the other arts. 

Five thousand a year may not be much money compared 
with the millions spent annually in this country for the en- 
dowment of painting and sculpture through exhibition space 
and dates, commissions, prizes and scholarships; and of music 
through orchestral and operatic associations, music schools, 
etc. Our prizes three hundred or so a year are very 
small compared with the three thousand given annually at a 
single exhibition in Pittsburgh, the nineteen hundred in 
Chicago's autumn exhibition, and similar amounts in other 
cities. And though scholarships are numerous for promising 
students in the other arts, and the American Academy at 
Rome is an over-luxurious endowment for them, no one has 
yet offered a poet's travelling scholarship, through this maga- 
zine or any other, or any university. Still, five thousand a 
year is a good deal as a starter for any project, and for five 
years POETRY has been privileged to spend it by way of main- 
taining its proud demands for the art. 

It seemed a good deal to the frugal-minded founder of the 
magazine, one June day of 1911, when Mr. H. C. Chatfield- 
Taylor novelist, historian and enlightened lover of the arts 
proposed to her the financial scheme on the basis of which 
a poets' magazine might be published. I had been saying 
that the art needed an organ of its own, that the poets got 
from the ordinary magazines merely page-end spaces and few 
of those, and from the public merely neglect or ridicule. 
(Incredible though this seems today, yet so it was!) 


These Five Years 

"I agree with you," he said, "that the situation is des- 
perate and something must be done. Perhaps it's up to you 
if you choose to undertake it, I believe you can get a hundred 
men and women in Chicago to give fifty dollars a year each 
for five years. Anyway I'll promise to head the list and do 
what I can to help you." 

So the \vould-be editor started on an adventure which 
proved far less formidable than it seemed less formidable 
and more interesting. Her office interviews with men promi- 
nent in the commercial and professional life of the greatest 
inland city brought her many an agreeable surprise. She had 
expected them to laugh at the project, so new and seemingly 
absurd; on the contrary, most of them received it in the 
highest spirit of idealism, often giving back her arguments 
better than she could state them herself. Accustomed to new 
and hazardous enterprises requiring to the utmost vision and 
daring, they were not daunted by this little venture for 
"the Cinderella of the arts," and willingly put their names 
on its roll of honor. In some cases she left their offices as if 
on wings, newly inspired for a high purpose; and the whole 
experience brought home to her the fact that the best and 
most imaginative minds of the country, through the forma- 
tive era that may be passing with this war, have gone largely, 
perhaps chiefly, into big business; nor is this strange when we 
consider all that had to be done through the formative period 
of a great continental nation. 

Thus the hundred guarantors were secured more easily 
than anyone had expected, and their loyalty has never 
wavered. Since one or two critics have printed their sus- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

picion that POETRY has been run in a spirit of compromise 
with the (inferred) tastes of its guarantors, this may be the 
occasion to state emphatically that never, by word or deed, 
has any guarantor attempted to influence the editorial policy 
of the magazine. Indeed, they have been, as a rule, over- 
fearful of seeming to interfere by the expression even of 
friendly criticism the editor would have welcomed more 
opinionating from them than she has ever received. The 
editorial policy of POETRY, for good or ill, has been the work 
of its editors, with the occasional assistance of its advisory 
committee. Its guarantors are guiltless. 

The project became public property with the publication 
of a first-page article in the Chicago Tribune one Sunday of 
November, igii. We were discovered! the guarantor list 
was not complete, but the names were of a number and 
quality to inspire confidence. Toward the end they rolled 
in rapidly, and my only regret has been that I did not keep 
on while the scheme had such momentum, instead of stopping 
with an hundred names or so. We could use to the ad- 
vantage of the art more money than we have ever had ! 

The next point of attack was the poets I remember won- 
dering, with some misgivings, whether they would respond as 
gracefully as the guarantors. During the summer of 1912 
the following circular, accompanied in some cases by personal 
letters, was sent to many poets American and English : 

Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, is to be published for the encour- 
agement of the art. More than one hundred persons have generously 
pledged subscriptions amounting to five thousand dollars annually 
for five years to make this experiment possible. Besides this, two 
hundred and fifty dollars will be awarded in one or two cash 


These Five Years 

prizes for the best poem or poems published during the first year, 
and at least one other prize has been partly promised. 

The success of this first American effort to encourage the produc- 
tion and appreciation of poetry, as the other arts are encouraged, 
by endowment, now depends on the poets. We offer them: 

First, a chance to be heard in their own place, without the lim- 
itations imposed by the popular magazine. In other words, while 
the ordinary magazines must minister to a large public little inter- 
ested in poetry, this magazine will appeal to, and it may be hoped, 
will develop, a public primarily interested in poetry as an art, 
as the highest, most complete human expression of truth and beauty. 

Second, within space limitations imposed at present by the small 
size of our monthly sheaf from sixteen to twenty-four pages the 
size of this we hope to print poems of greater length and of more 
intimate and serious character than the other magazines can afford 
to use. All kinds of verse will be considered narrative, dramatic, 
lyric quality alone being the test of acceptance. Certain numbers 
may be devoted entirely to a single poem, or a group of poems by 
one person ; except for a few editorial pages of comment and review. 

Third, besides the prize or prizes above mentioned, we shall pay 
contributors. The rate will depend on the subscription list, and will 
increase as the receipts increase, for this magazine is not intended 
as a money-maker but as a public-spirited effort to gather together 
and enlarge the poet's public and to increase his earnings. If we 
can raise the rate paid for verse until it equals that paid for 
paintings, etchings, statuary, representing as much ability, time and 
reputation, we shall feel that we have done something to make it 
possible for poets to practice their art and be heard. In addition, 
we should like to secure as many prizes, and as large, as arc 
offered to painters and sculptors at the annual exhibitions in our 
various cities. 

In order that this effort may be recognized as just and necessary, 
and may develop for this art a responsive public, we ask the poets 
to send us their best verse. We promise to refuse nothing because 
it is too good, whatever be the nature of its excellence. We shall 
read with special interest poems of modern significance, but the 
most classic subject will not be declined if it reaches a high stand- 
ard of quality. 

We wish to show to an ever-increasing public the best that 
can be done to-day in English verse. We hope to begin monthly 
publication in November or December, 1912, at the low subscription 
rate of $1.50 a year. We ask that writers of verse will be inter- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

ested enough to contribute their best work, and that all who love 
the art will subscribe. 

A kind of declaration of principles and purposes was this 
circular, and on the whole we think our worst enemy would 
admit that the magazine has lived up to it. If we have not 
yet been able to "raise the rate paid for verse until it equals 
that paid for paintings, etchings, statuary, representing as 
much ability, time and reputation," that millenial ambition 
is still ours, and we are ready to fulfil it whenever some 
miraculous increase in our endowment, subscription list or 
volume of advertising makes it possible. In one respect we 
have surpassed that summer's expectations: instead of "from 
sixteen to twenty-four pages" we now print over fifty. 

One of the promptest and most cordial responses came from 
Ezra Pound, then as now in London. In a long letter of 
August 1 8th, 1912, he wrote: 

I am interested, and your scheme, so far as I understand it, is 
not only sound but the only possible method . . . 

But? Can you teach the American poet that poetry is an art, 
an art with a technique, with media, an art that must be in con- 
stant flux a constant change of manner if it is to live? Can you 
teach him that it is not a pentametric echo of the sociological dogma 
printed in last year's magazines? Maybe anyhow you have your 
work before you. . . . 

If I can be of any use in keeping you or the magazine in touch 
with whatever is most dynamic in artistic thought, either here or 
in Paris as much of it as comes to me, and I do see nearly every- 
one that matters I shall be glad to do so. 

I send you all that I have in my desk an over-elaborate "Ima- 
giste" affair, and a note on the Whistler exhibit. 

This letter, connecting us up so sympathetically with 
London and Paris, was received with joy. Mr. Pound was 
at once appointed foreign correspondent of POETRY, a proud 


These Five Years 

but unremunerative office which, in spite of volcanic up- 
heavals now and then, he still holds. 

Other poets also welcomed the project with enthusiasm. 
Mr. Ficke sent us the beautiful double sonnet on Poetry 
which opened our first number. Miss Amy Lowell, who was 
just preparing her first book for the press, promised, Sept. 
7th, to send us some poems later, adding: 

It is a most excellent undertaking, and ought to do much to 
foster poetry, which has a hard time to get itself published now. 

And Mr. Lindsay wrote, Sept. i8th: 

Thank you indeed for the invitation to contribute to the new 
magazine. I am indeed eager to make good with such a group, 
and three times interested in such an Illinois enterprise. 

And six weeks later, Oct. 29th, he sent us General Booth, 
which led off our fourth number January, 1913. 

By this time Alice Corbin Henderson had assumed the as- 
sociate editorship of the magazine, so that from the first her 
brilliant mind, with its high poetic intuition and keen critical 
sense, was devoted to the project. The connection has been 
less immediate during the past year, but we hope that Mrs. 
Henderson's rapidly improving health may enable her soon 
to resume it. When Mr. Henry B. Fuller, Miss Edith 
Wyatt and Mr. H. C. Chatfield-Taylor consented to be an 
advisory committee, the editorial staff was complete. 

Those first weeks were a continual excitement. The first 
episode was the pronunciamento of a Boston rival which, 
threatening to absorb our title and to begin a month ahead of 
us, forced us to advance our first number to October. 
Appearing about September twenty-third, it antedated the 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Poetry Journal by nearly two months and made our long- 
announced title secure. 

Soon Mr. Pound sent over some more "imagist" poems 
by Richard Aldington and H. D., and that first group from 
the Gitanjali which made POETRY the first publisher in Eng- 
lish of Rabindranath Tagore. Hard upon their appearance, 
in the December number, came a letter from the great Ben- 
gali poet's son, postmarked "Urbana, Illinois," and soon the 
poet himself, whom we had thought of as in India, became 
a familiar and friendly presence in Chicago. 

So it went on that first winter. William Butler Yeats 
lent the splendor of his name to our third number, and among 
the other early arrivals were Joseph Campbell and Ernest 
Rhys from over seas, and many Americans Agnes Lee, Mrs, 
Conkling, Witter Bynner, John Reed, Mr. Torrence, Mr. 
Sterling, Miss Widdemer, appearing among the thirty-five 
poets of our first volume our first half year. 

Each successive volume brought its special excitement. 
Ezra Pound with Contemporanla and Allen Upward 
with his Chinese Scented Leaves were the most thrilling 
episodes of the second; Carl Sandburg and D. H. Lawrence 
of the third, Amy Lowell of the fourth, the War Number 
and Edgar Lee Masters and Miss Skinner of the fifth; and 
so on this must not become a chronicle. There has never 
been any reason to doubt the response of the poets ; with few 
exceptions they have stood by us loyally even through dif- 
ferences of opinion, and the friendships thus begun have been 
the editor's chief reward. 


These Five Years 

It has been not without misgivings and tremors that we 
have faced the alternative of bringing POETRY to an end or 
soliciting a new guaranty fund. Who were we that we 
should ask a subsidy in these costly days of war? But a 
wave from the deeps rose to sweep away our doubts. All 
the more because of war must our fellow-countrymen cher- 
ish the arts, and especially this art of the poets, who have 
been, from the dawn of time, the annunciators of truth, the 
first revealers of beauty. We can not afford to close our 
doors to them who knows what spirit of fire might knock 
in vain ? POETRY may not be a grand enough portal, and the 
lamps that light it may burn dim in drifting winds J but until 
a nobler one is built it should stand, and its little lights 
should show the way as they can. H. M. 



Poems, by Ralph Hodgson. Macmillan Co. 

There is a certain picture-book quality about the poems 
of Ralph Hodgson. One has the feeling that they were 
meant to go with illustrations. Eve, for instance, seems to 
call for one of those rather mild drawings of the "eternal 
maid" such as one finds in Life. (I don't know who makes 
these illustrations, no doubt pleasing to clergymen and chil- 
dren, but apparently each generation supplies its quota and 
the ranks are never empty.) 

Eve, with her basket, was 
Deep in the bells and grass, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Wading in bells and grass 
Up to her knees, 
Picking a dish of sweet 
Berries and plums to eat, 
Down in the bells and grass 
Under the trees. 

Even that much praised poem, The Bull, seems to have 
been destined for pictorial accompaniment. It is in itself 
pictorial not imagistic; two very distinct things: 

See an old unhappy bull, 
Sick in soul and body both, 
Slouching in the undergrowth 
Of the forest beautiful ; 
Banished from the herd he led, 
Bulls and cows a thousand head. 

This poem gives the impression of a literary performance 
surprisingly well brought off; it has the accent of literary 
success. But whenever I read it I am somehow reminded 
of an amusing parallel in the cowboy song of The Last 

An ancient long-horned bovine 

Lay dying by the river; 

There was lack of vegetation 

And the cold winds made him shiver. 

A cowboy sat beside him 

With sadness in his face 

To see his final passing 

This last of a noble race. 

The ancient eunuch struggled 
And raised his shaking head, 
Saying, "I care not to linger 
When all my friends are dead. 
These Jerseys and these Holsteins 
They are no friends of mine; 
They belong to the nobility 
Who live across the brine." 


Hodgson's Poems 

Perhaps this has no literary quality. Certainly Mr. 
Hodgson's poem has no lack of it. The Bull is picturesquely 
decorative, with an element of the bizarre, a suspicion of the 
studied properties of modern art or stage decoration : 

And things abominable sit 
Picking offal buck or swine; 
On the mess and over it 
Burnished flies and beetles shine, 
And spiders big as bladders lie 
Under hemlocks ten foot high. 

And a dotted serpent curled 
Round and round and round a tree, 
Yellowing its greenery, 
Keeps a watch on all the World 
All the world and this old bull 
In the forest beautiful. 

From this, the style descends quite obviously to that of 
the nursery picture-book: 

And his little frame grew stout, 
And his little legs grew strong, 
And the way was not so long; 
And his little horns came out, 
And he played at butting trees 
And boulder-stones and tortoises. . . . 

Some of Mr. Hodgson's shorter poems have the charm of 
a thing that seems to occur with the ease and carelessness of 
a wayside flower. If in some of these one may detect the 
accent of William Blake it does not greatly matter, since 
they have also a life of their own. What does matter is that, 
except in these, Mr. Hodgson seems to give us so little 
is himself; that so good a craftsman as he is said to be should 
awaken in us no more than a passing admiration of his skill 
of craft, of a facility which has no indication of basic growth. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

He is at his best in the very short poems, such as The 
Mystery, Stupidity Street, The Bells of Heaven, or Reason 
Has Moons; and in the shorter ballads which are simply 
ballads, such as Time You Old Gipsy Man or The Gipsy 
Girl. His most marked characteristic is a sense of the crime 
against the freedom of all living things; one might speak of 
it as a "social sense," but it is more individualistic, more 
concrete, than that. As an instance of the influence of con- 
temporary poets one upon the other, it may be remarked that 
had The House Across the Way been included in Walter 
de la Mare's collection of poems, one would never have sus- 
pected that it was not his. It has precisely that atmosphere 
of suggested mystery noted as essentially characteristic of 
Mr. de la Mare's work. And is there not also in Mr. de la 
Mare's work something of that picture-book quality which 
one finds in Mr. Hodgson's? A. C. H. 


Asphalt, by Orrick Johns. Alfred A. Knopf. 

Of a beauty exquisite and rare are some of the poems 
in this book. I speak less of those smelling of Bowery 
asphalt, which open the volume, than of certain Country 
Rhymes, poems of Old Youth, and lyrics of love and death. 

We all remember how Mr. Johns leaped into fame by 
winning the first prize in the Lyric Year contest of five 
years ago. The prize poem, Second Avenue, is, however, 
one of the least interesting entries in the book, in spite of 
a few fine lines. We may imagine with what a wry face 


Four Young Poets 

the author reprinted it, now that he has outgrown its preachy 
tone. Probably it was Ezra Pound's taut style that gave 
Mr. Johns his first jolt out of the Gray's-Elegy attitude; 
at any rate the Songs of Deliverance, which POETRY printed 
in February, 1914, were the first evidence of the change. 
The very spirit of arrogant and rebellious youth is in that 
poem for me ; perhaps the poet omitted it from his first book 
because he has become more reconciled to everyday life or 
maybe he thought its manner too Ezra-Poundish. Anyway 
he struck for freedom with it and since then he has been 

Most of the poems in this book are in rhyme. Those in 
Bowery dialect grouped as Asphalt have a bitter tang, but 
they strike me as made; one feels the tools they are not 
quite spontaneous. Perhaps the last one, Hunger, is the 
best, with this for a refrain : 

Hunger, is it hunger? 

It's hunger widout end; 
It's hunger fer a decent word 

An* hunger fer a friend; 
It's hunger fer a gal ya like, 

Er hunger fer yer bread 
Gawd o' mighty help yer, bo, 

It's hunger till yer dead. 

In the songs done in his own language Mr. Johns' lyric 
passion has a freer range. He finds the beauty of life in 
common "little things," and his ribald wit delights in taking 
a wicked nip out of human pride. Indeed, he has a profound, 
a somewhat Rabelaisian, sense of humor; he discerns the 
grotesqueness of life queer dust-whorls creeping over a 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

whirling planet and for him human beings have little 
higher claim to dignity than their kin the beasts. Thus 
there is no nature-faking in his delight in animals and other 
out-door lives. Every dog he phrases is absolutely and inde- 
structibly an individual dog, not sentimentalized or human- 
ized; and the tree, or the tree-toad under it, live by their 
own right, without permission of man. 

The old gray cocks 

Are prouder than a king; 
And even when they scratch 

It's a dignified thing. 

I wish there were space to quote a number of poems in 
order to show with what a light touch this poet expresses the 
very sharpest edge of feeling. If man is a grotesque, a weird 
experiment, then his poignant sorrow, his exquisite joy, are 
the final proof that something beautiful has been achieved, 
that a new glaze of rare and unforeseen color has come out 
of the fire. Mr. Johns makes us feel this ineffable beauty: 
in E Poi Vidi Venir da Lungi A more, which is a woman's 
perfumed breath of sighs for love's f ragmentariness ; in The 
Coronal of Dust and other songs for the dead ; in The Door 
with its sense of life's fragility and wonder; and in the 
wounding sharpness of this perfect lyric, The Answer: 

"Crying cranes and wheeling crows 

I'll remember them," she said; 
"And I will be your own, God Knows, 

And the sin be on my head. 

"I will be your own and glad ; 

Lovers would be fools to care 
How a thing is good or bad 

When the sky is everywhere. 


Four Young Poets 

"I will be your own," she said, 

"Because your voice is like the rain, 
And your kiss is wine and bread 

Better than my father's grain." 

So I took her where she spoke, 
Breasts of snow and burning mouth . . . 

Crying cranes and drifting smoke 
And the blackbirds wheeling south. 


Streets and Faces, by Scudder Middleton. The Little Book 

Publisher, Arlington, N. J. 

It is not often that a first book of verse creates an impres- 
sion of selection and reserve as definite as that occasioned 
by this small volume. To be true, not all the poems achieve 
the same level of excellence. Mr. Middleton's style is in 
process of formation, it is not the developed style of an older 
man; but it has indications of individuality. When I say 
this I am thinking of the poems that are most individual 
Arophe, The Stranger, The Heavenly Intrigue, Interlude 
and others not of those poems which may be said to belong 
to a class, that of the "subject" poem so dearly loved by the 
magazines. Mr. Middleton has done very well with these, 
has lifted them above the ruck; still, poems like The Wax 
Museum for Men, or The Waiting Woman, do definitely 
belong to this class and it is a genre hard to reconcile with 
poetry. I should like to see the poet discard it. 

Mn Middleton has absorbed of the "new movement" 
some of its best qualities instead of its worst as so many 
others have done. His "free verse" is by no means "loose" 
and it does not record an observation of life purely steno- 
graphic. To An Old Couple is one of the best in this form: 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The years unravel the designs of youth, 

Yet time brings at the last 

The serene illusion of accomplishment. 

When your two wrinkled hands meet in the night 

You know that all is well. 

It is this subtle perception of experience that gives life 
to this poet's work. One finds it in The Clerk, where the 
released worker can still do nothing but go on counting up 
figures in Heaven: and one finds it in an unusual degree in 
that truly remarkable little poem called Children. This is 
by all means the finest poem in the book. Not that it has 
the perfection of Keats' odes or Shelley's songs; it may not 
have the rounded, final perfection of art, but it has the 
frailty of earth-passion about it, and it is very delicately 
expressed. A. C. H. 

Swords for Life, by Irene Rutherford McLeod. B. W. 


This second book by the young author of Songs to Save a 
Soul strengthens the first impression that she is a poet of 
unusual promise. In both little volumes are strains of the 
lyric cry of youth, fainter perhaps in the second than the 
first, but in both authentic the cry of a free spirit, full of 
love and fire. 

She should beware of certain temptations, however. On 
the accommodating slip-cover the London Times calls this 
book "an advance" over the other, because "there is less in 
it of the mere recording of moods; there is now conviction 
and purpose behind most of the poems." Of some of them 
that is unfortunately true the first one, for example, with 


Four Young Poets 

Yours not to falter and shrink ! 
Yours not to shelter away! 

which almost persuades one to read no more. A girl poet 
of twenty or less is entitled to moods, but conviction and 
purpose are dangerous things in her inexperienced hands. 
They lead her to exclamatory advice, preaching and other 

Spring and a Larch Wood has in it the joy of discovering 
beauty in the wood: 

I dared not breathe nor look nor stir 

I was so hushed in holiness. 

I was so strangely close to her 

I dared not move to touch her dress 

I wc.s so bound in quietness. 

The hoyden wind, abashed like me, ' 

And sunk in piteous surprise, 

Crept to her very wistfully, 

Kissing her golden-lidded eyes 

With little mournful gusty sighs. 

The brief lyrics in this book are not quite so good as two 
or three in the earlier volume; but this, part of Love's 
Guard, is very delicate : 

When first I awake, 

Half seeing, half dreaming, 
Morning shadows take 

Shape and life-seeming. 

A little sweet ghost 

Calls me, enchants me ; 
He and his bright host 

Of memories haunts me. 

His hand seeks my face 

Like little leaves falling. 
There is no quiet place 

Where he is not calling. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

It is not well with thee, 

O my darling! 
It is not well with thee, 

My little darling! 

H. M. 

The Dance of Youth, by Julia Cooley. Sherman, French 


One is softly moved by this book because of its girlish- 
ness. It is so solemn, so thoughtful, so burdened with 
knowledge and experience, and yet withal so young and 
ignorant. We have the typical educated American girl 
talented moreover in this case who has been typically pro- 
tected and withdrawn, and who is piteously fumbling for 
life and art through the fuzzy cottonwool of convention- 
alities. She has in her the makings of both woman and 
poet, but one feels the blur of self-consciousness getting in 
the way of both. She would give herself away, as woman 
and poet must, but, unconsciously and in spite of herself, a 
thousand tendencies of her blood and breeding all the nice- 
girl niceties that tend to make a perfect lady of her get in 
the way of the gift and she can't break through. Not yet 
at least. Life may break a way for her of course, if it 
dashes her on the rocks and tears her to pieces. But the 
trouble is, in many of these cases life also acts like a lady 
and holds aloof. Life seems daunted by the smooth 
undaunted front these girls put up it would be too cruel 
a task to break them on the wheel, even though they say, 
Smite, Life, that I may know you well! 

The makings of a poet yes, but most of this first book 
should go into the discard. When the poet is made, if that 


Four Young Poets 

day comes, she will find the proudest efforts of her maiden 
volume stiff and formal and painstaking, and will bless 
the muses that a few escape this blight. The title poem 
escapes it by a hair's breadth a happy miracle, because the 
poem has a delicate tune of its own. Here is a third of it: 

Lais and Thais have gone from the noon, 

And Berenice bloomed of yore. 
Lesbia whitens beneath the moon 

And Sappho sings no more. 

A shadow lurks in the Milky Way, 

And behind the moon is Death. 
Dance, oh, dance, till the night is gray 

And the dew is a shuddering breath. 

Ye are Lais and Thais now, 

Ye are the fruit of the hour. 
Sway we and sing like a summer bough 

Till another youth shall flower! 

In Spring Sorroiv is another soft fine tune, and a few 
brief and simple poems show a delicate touch She Bends 
above a Flower, Magic Moonlight, Success, Futility. And 
there is a bit of cosmic irony in The Anthem. H. M. 


Reveries Over Childhood and Youth, by William Butler 

Yeats. Macmillan Co. 

Soberly and lucidly Mr. Yeats sets down in these pages 
his reveries, ending at the threshold of his creative period. 
Then there is a postscript wherein the poet says : 

For some months now I have lived with my youth and childhood 
not always writing indeed, but thinking of it almost every day; 
and I am sorrowful and disturbed. It is not that I have sccom- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

plished too few of my plans, for I am not ambitious; but when 
I think of all the books I've read, and of all the wise words I 
have heard spoken, and of the anxiety I have given to parents and 
grandparents and of the hopes I have had all life, weighed in 
the scales of my own life, seems to me to be a preparation for 
something that never happens. 

And so the reveries end in the gray mood. One might read 
them and not be aware that they were about a great creative 
artist. Indeed, if the names had been suppressed one would 
say that a cultivated man, who had met many cultivated 
people, and who had formed some challenging judgments, 
was the subject of the memoir. "I saw God with his face 
pressed against the window," says William Blake; "that. was 
when I was about six years of age." Mr. Yeats tells us 
nothing of his majestic visitants though surely an archangel 
must have looked through his windows! 

How he rose to the poet within him, and how he made 
himself a national poet these are what we look to the 
memoir to reveal, but the author has not chosen to let us 
feel the throb of such great experiences. 

Mr. Yeats had a fair place for his early upbringing 
a beautiful county in the west of Ireland. His grandfather 
was a stormy old man who had been the captain and owner 
of a merchant ship. He was fortunate in his father, John B. 
Yeats, the painter, who has one of the most disinterested 
minds of his day. For him freedom in life and creation in 
art are all in all. A comrade to his son, he taught him to 
dislike all that was abstract and merely reflective in art. 

The poet joined one of the patriotic literary societies in 
Ireland. Once, reading aloud some poem to their company, 


A Poet's Upbringing 

he discovered that although it was written in vague abstract 
words such as one finds in a newspaper, it had power to 
move them to tears. It was a poem describing the shore of 
Ireland as seen by a returning emigrant. He thought that 
the poem moved them because it contained the actual thought 
of a man at a passionate moment of life, and so he became 
interested in the thought of a poetry that would be a per- 
sonal utterance. 

It was his friendship with the Irish political leader John 
O'Leary that made him resolve to be one of the creators of 
a national literature for Ireland. He thought that the 
Irish and the Anglo-Irish might be brought together if the 
country had a national literature that would make Ireland 
beautiful in memory, and yet be freed from provincialism by 
an exacting criticism. He tells us of the difficulties and 
discouragements that grew up as he went on with his task. 
He seems to be unaware that his idea and his work have 
now a unique flowering. 

Besides his father and his grandfather, the two figures that 
are most notably shown are the Fenian leader John O'Leary 
and the courtly scholar Edward Dowden: O'Leary, whom 
the poet celebrated afterwards in a ballad ; and, for a con- 
trast, Professor Dowden with his dark romantic face and his 
ironic manner Dowden, who might have been a poet if he 
had once yielded himself to life, but who became a critic 
instead. John B. Yeats said of him, "Talking to Dowden 
is like talking to a priest one must be careful not to remind 
him of his sacrifice." The famous scholar was helpful to 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

the young poet, but it was Dowden's poems that made him 
consider the whole question of lyric poetry. He says : 

I was about to learn that if a man is to write lyric poetry he 
must be shaped by nature and art to one of the half-a-dozen tra- 
ditional poses, and be lover or saint, sage or sensualist, or mere 
mocker of all life; and that none but that stroke of luckless luck 
can open before him the accumulated expression of the world. 

P. C. 


The following letter may assist the reader's understanding 
of our two poems by its author: 

Dear POETRY: The Soap-box is my only poem in this manner 
except The Kallyope Yell, written five years ago. From the words 
"Free speech" to the end it is to be given, like that poem, in college- 
yell fashion, but more musically, with the rasp of the college yell 
left out and its energy retained. 

As for Samson I attended a negro church with John Carpenter 
when I was last in Chicago, and some of the spirit of the sermons 
we heard went into Samson; and the process of conversion and 
repentance is, I hope, an honest and reverent record of what hap- 
pened before us. There was not any rolling on the ground, but 
one woman was carried out in a cataleptic state. 

After coming home I heard a negro sermon on Jerusalem whose 
refrain every few minutes was, "Let Jerusalem be coming into your 
mind." Another day I heard, amid a general exhortation, this out- 
burst: "There was a Russian revolution yesterday, and my Lord is 
riding high" 

I have used these phrases, I hope, in the same spirit that they were 
originally uttered. The fundamental difficulty of negro sermon 
poems of this type is that there is a profound seriousness of passion 
in the midst of things at which the outsider is fairly entitled to smile; 
and when a white man tries to render this seriousness and this 
humor at the same time, he is apt to be considered more of a humorist 
than a sermonizer. The negroes are perfectly willing to laugh a 
little on the way up to glory, and, unlike the white man, they do 


A Note from Mr. Lindsay 

not have to stop going up while they laugh. I should say that one- 
tenth of Samson has a humorous intention, but I will venture that the 
average reader will consider it nine-tenths humorous, through lack 
of familiarity with that amazing figure, the negro preacher, who is 
just as unique and readily at hand now as he was twenty-five years 
ago, when he was much more discussed and parodied. 

Vachel Lindsay 


The following letter sets forth a new project which should 
interest all lovers of poetry. To the modern reader this art 
is too much an affair of the library ; he needs to be reminded 
that it began as an art of song and speech. Mr. Brody and 
his associates are trying "to win back for poetry its place 
among the articulate arts." 

Dear POETRY: The Poetry Theatre League, 287 Fifth Avenue, 
New York, means to participate, in every way possible, with the 
renaissance now taking place in poetry, but its particular object is 
to establish a center for the public recitation of poetry. Just as 
Music is interpreted by artist-players, just as Drama is interpreted 
by actors and stage-directors, so Poetry is to be staged with costumes, 
scenic effects, or music, and interpreted by artist-reciters. In this 
way, by appealing to all the senses, we hope to reach an audience 
outside of and larger than the poetry-reading public, and thus extend 
the appreciation of poetry. Miss Hedwig Reicher, our Artistic 
Director and an actress of international reputation, has been experi- 
menting in productions of this kind, and has demonstrated their 
aesthetic value and feasibility beyond a doubt. 

In addition, the activities of The Poetry Theatre League will 
include the production of poetic plays, the arrangement of lectures 
on poetry, and readings by poets of their own works. In this latter 
way we hope to be instrumental in presenting poets whom publishers 
are too timid to introduce to the public. We will also encourage 
and endeavor to organize poetry societies in universities and settle- 
ments, and supply them with programs and lecturers. 

The profits of the League will be devoted exclusively to prizes for 
the best poems appearing in American magazines, and for the best 
poetic plays submitted to us. Alter Brody 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Editor of POETRY: I was greatly interested in High Chin 
Bob, published in the August POETRY. 

The original poem is entitled The Glory Trail; the author 
is Charles Badger Clark, Jr.; it was first published in the 
Pacific Monthly, April, 1911. I enclose a copy. 

Seattle, Wash. William H. Skaling 

EDITOR'S NOTE: On the whole, the cowboy version simplifies and 
improves Mr. Clark's poem, in our opinion; although, by a curious 
process of elimination, the revisers unconsciously deprived each 
double-stanza, except the last, of an entire rhythmic phrase an 
entire line according to the author's way of printing the poem in short 
lines instead of long. The first stanza from the Pacific Monthly will 
serve, by comparison with our August number, to show how far the 
cowboy's idea of a folk poem differed from the author's: 

'Way high up the Mbgollons, 

Among the mountain tops, 

A lion cleaned a yearlin's bones 

And licked his thankful chops, 

When on the picture who should ride, 

A-trippin' down a slope, 

But High-Chin Bob, with sinful pride 

And mav'rick-hungry rope. 

"Oh, glory be to me!" says he, 
"And fame's unfadin' flowers! 
All meddlin' hands are far away, 
I ride my good top-hawse today, 
And I'm top rope of 'Lazy J' 
Hi, kitty cat, you're ours!" 


The poem printed below may serve to emphasize the good- 
will of POETRY, and its editors and readers, toward the 
author of the Profiles, Eunice Tietjens, who now resigns 


Good-bye to Eunice Tietjens 

from the staff of the magazine in order to go to France as a 
correspondent of the Chicago Daily News. In saying a 
regretful farewell to Mrs. Tietjens, we may hope that she 
will become also a correspondent of POETRY. Her intimate 
knowledge of both French and German, and her wide ac- 
quaintance among poets, may enable her to inform us now 
and then about conditions in the art abroad, especially in 
Paris. But here is the poem: 


This is a book fresh from the printing press and bindery. 

Some of the red of a woman's heart is between its covers, and it is a 
strong and honest book. 

I listen between the covers, and I hear the beggars, fakirs, scholars, 
ricksha runners, rice farmers and street dogs of swarming, immit- 
igable, irrepressible, stinking, going-somewhere China. 

It is a simple book, filled with the subtleties and drolleries of simple 
people, and I know boys in short pants who could read and fathom 
most of it. 

The portent of it is like the laughter of a nut between two stones; 
occasionally it ejects the sneeze of a shriveled panhandler lacking 
an overcoat in late November, and the meaning of it will be nil 
to those who never enjoy the whiff of humanity in the mob. 

They wish for a laquer-work synthesis of the motives of a working- 
man's wife who has paid ten coppers for a new kitchen-god, and 
they protest the absence of spectric hues in the picture of a beggar 
picking lice off his shirt. 

It is the same as looking at a wounded soldier and saying: This red 
blood is quite red while this other red blood is not quite so red. 

Carl Sandburg 


The readers of POETRY need little information about most of the 
poets in this number. 

Mr. Yeats' new book of poems, to be issued by the Cuala Press, 
Dundrum, Ireland, and the Macmillan Co., this autumn, will be 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

entitled Per Arnica Silentia Lunae (Through the Friendly Silence of 
the Moon] ; and the poet describes it as "an explanation of the 
religious convictions, and philosophical speculations, that I hope 
govern my life." Ego Dominus Tuus will open this volume. 

Mr. Edgar Lee Masters, of Chicago, is in danger of being absorbed 
by Michigan because of the beauty of his newly-acquired farm on 
Spring Lake. He promises to return this month, however, and to 
prepare a new volume for spring publication. 

Mr. Lindsay's new book now in the Macmillan Co.'s press-room 
will be entitled The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems. 

Mr. William Rose Benet has left the office of The Century to train 
for military service. In a recent letter he says: "Anything may 
eventuate; my own faith is that big things are in the making a 
new world." 

Mr. Willard Wattles also is preparing for military service. From 
Lawrence, Kansas, he went in June to Peterboro, N. H., where he 
has been putting his poems in order before entering a training camp. 

Miss Margaret Widdemer, of New York, author of Factories with 
Other Lyrics, is also well known to our readers. And Miss Eleanor 
Rogers Cox, though new in POETRY, is the author of Singing Fires 
of Erin (John Lane Co.). 

Miss Helen Louise Birch, of Chicago, who is known as a composer 
of songs, appears for the first time as a poet. 



The Armor of Light, Dramatic Poem in Three Acts, by Daisy Vir- 
ginia Johnson. Privately printed. 

The Vision Splendid, by John Oxenham. Geo. H. Doran Co. 

In Greek Seas, and Other Poems of Travel, by Oswald H. Harvey. 
John Lane. 

Poems, by Brian Brooke (Korongo) with Foreword by M. P. Wil- 
cox. John Lane. 

Plain Song (1914-1916} by Eden Phillpotts. Macmillan Co. 

The Far Away, by Guy Nearing. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

Vagrant Visions, by Edith Fargo Andrews. Sherman French & Co. 

Poems, by John Masefield (Selected). Macmillan Co. 

Complete Poetical Works of John Hay. Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Verse Writing, a Practical Handbook for Classroom and Private 
Guidance, by W. H. Carruth, Macmillan Co. 



No. II 
A Magazine of Verse 



Notes for War Songs 

MAKE war songs out of these; 
Make chants that repeat and weave. 

Make rhythms up to the ragtime chatter of the machine guns ; 
Make slow-booming psalms up to the boom of the big guns. 
Make a marching song of swinging arms and swinging legs, 
Going along, 
Going along, 
On the roads from San Antonio to Athens, from Seattle to 


The boys and men in winding lines of khaki, the circling 
squares of bayonet points. 

Cowpunchers, cornhuskers, shopmen, ready in khaki; 
Ballplayers, lumberjacks, ironworkers, ready in khaki; 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

A million, ten million, singing, "I am ready." 

This the sun looks on between two seaboards, 

In the land of Lincoln, in the land of Grant and Lee. 

I heard one say, "I am ready to be killed." 
I heard another say, "I am ready to be killed." 

sunburned clear-eyed boys! 

1 stand on sidewalks and you go by with drums and guns 

and bugles, 

You and the flag! 
And my heart tightens, a fist of something feels my throat 

When you go by, 

You on the kaiser hunt, you and your faces saying, "I am 
ready to be killed." 

They are hunting death, 

Death for the one-armed mastoid kaiser. 

They are after a Hohenzollern head: 

There is no man-hunt of men remembered like this. 

The four big brothers are out to kill. 

France, Russia, Britain, America 

The four republics are sworn brothers to kill the kaiser. 

Yes, this is the great man-hunt; 

And the sun has never seen till now 

Such a line of toothed and tusked man-killers, 

In the blue of the upper sky, 


Carl Sandburg 

In the green of the undersea. 

In the red of winter dawns. 

Eating to kill, 

Sleeping to kill, 

Asked by their mothers to kill, 

Wished by four-fifths of the world to kill 

To cut the kaiser's throat, 

To hack the kaiset's head, 

To hang the kaiser on a high-horizon gibbet. 

And is it nothing else than this? 

Three times ten million men thirsting the blood 

Of a half-cracked one-armed child of the German kings ? 

Three times ten million men asking the blood 

Of a child born with his head wrong-shaped, 

The blood of rotted kings in his veins ? 

If this were all, O God, 

I would go to the far timbers 

And look on the grey wolves 

Tearing the throats of moose: 

I would ask a wilder drunk of blood. 

Look ! It is four brothers in joined hands together. 

The people of bleeding France, 

The people of bleeding Russia, 

The people of Britain, the people of America 
These are the four brothers, these are the four republics. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

At first I said it in anger as one who clenches his fist in 
wrath to fling his knuckles into the face of someone 

Now I say it calmly as one who has thought it over and 
over again at night, among the mountains, by the sea- 
combers in storm. 

I say now, by God, only fighters today will save the world, 
nothing but fighters will keep alive the names of those 
who left red prints of bleeding feet at Valley Forge in 
Christmas snow. 

On the cross of Jesus, the sword of Napoleon, the skull of 
Shakespere, the pen of Tom Jefferson, the ashes of 
Abraham Lincoln, or any sign of the red and running 
life poured out by the mothers of the world, 

By the God of morning glories climbing blue the doors of 
quiet homes, by the God of tall hollyhocks laughing 
glad to children in peaceful valleys, by the God of 
new mothers wishing peace to sit at windows nursing 

I swear only reckless men, ready to throw away their lives by 
hunger, deprivation, desperate clinging to a single pur- 
pose imperturbable and undaunted, men with the primi- 
tive guts of rebellion, 

Only fighters gaunt with the red brand of labor's sorrow 
on their brows and labor's terrible pride in their blood, 
men with souls asking danger only these will save and 
keep the four big brothers. 


Carl Sandburg 

Good-night is the word, good-night to the kings, to the 


Good-night to .the kaiser. 
The breakdown and the fade-away begins. 
The shadow of a great broom, ready to sweep out the trash, 

is here. 

One finger is raised that counts the czar, 

The ghost who beckoned men who come no more 

The czar gone to the winds on God's great dustpan, 

The czar a pinch of nothing, 

The last of the gibbering Romanoffs. 

Out and good-night 

The ghosts of the summer palaces 

And the ghosts of the winter palaces! 

Out and out, good-night to the kings, the czars, the kaisers. 

Another finger will speak, 

And the kaiser, the ghost -who gestures a hundred million 

sleeping-waking ghosts, 

The kaiser will go onto God's great dustpan 
The last of the gibbering Hohenzollerns. 
Look! God pities this trash, God waits with a broom and 

a dustpan, 
God knows a finger will speak and count them out. 

It is written in the stars; 
It is spoken on the walls ; 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

It clicks in the fire-white .zigzag of the Atlantic wireless; 

It mutters in the bastions of thousand-mile continents; 

It sings in a whistle on the midnight winds from Walla 

Walla to Mesopotamia: 
Out and good-night. 

The millions slow in khaki, 

The millions learning Turkey in the Straw and John Brown s 

The millions remembering windrows of dead at Gettysburg, 

Chickamauga and Spottsylvania Court House, 
The millions dreaming of the morningstar of Appomattox, 
The millions easy and calm with guns and steel, planes and 

prows : 

There is a hammering, drumming hell to come. 
The killing gangs are on the way. 

God takes one year for a job. 

God takes ten years or a million. 

God knows when a doom is written. 

God knows this job will be done and the words spoken : 

Out and good-nfght. 

The red tubes will run, 

And the great price be paid, 

And the homes empty, 

And the wives wishing, 

And the mothers wishing. 

There is only one way now, only the way of the red tubes 
and the great price. 


Carl Sandburg 

Well . . . 

Maybe the morning sun is a five-cent yellow balloon, 
And the evening stars the joke of a God gone crazy. 
Maybe the mothers of the world, 
And the life that pours from their torsal folds 
Maybe it's all a lie sworn by liars, 
And a God with a cackling laughter says: 
"I, the Almighty God, 
I have made all this, 
I have made it for kaisers, czars and kings." 

Three times ten million men say: No. 
Three times ten million men say: 

God is a God of the People. 
And the God who made the world 

And fixed the morning sun, 

And flung the evening stars, 

And shaped the baby hands of life, 
This is the God of the Four Brothers ; 
This is the God of bleeding France and bleeding Russia ; 
This is the God of the people of Britain and America. 

The graves from the Irish Sea to the Caucasus peaks are 

ten times a million. 
The stubs and stumps of arms and legs, the eyesockets empty, 

the cripples, ten times a million. 
The crimson thumb-print of this anathema is on the door 

panels of a hundred million homes. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Cows gone, mothers on sick-beds, children cry a hunger and 
no milk comes in the noon-time or at night. 

The death-yells of it all, the torn throats of men in ditches 
calling for water, the shadows and the hacking lungs 
in dugouts, the steel paws that clutch and squeeze a 
scarlet drain day by day the storm of it is hell. 

But look! child! the storm is blowing for a clean air. 

Look! the four brothers march 
And hurl their big shoulders 
And swear the job shall be done. 

Out of the wild finger-writing north and south, east and 
west, over the blood-crossed, blood-dusty ball of earth, 

Out of it all a God who knows is sweeping clean, 

Out of it all a God who sees and pierces through, is break- 
ing and cleaning out an old thousand years, is making 
ready for a new thousand years. 

The four brothers shall be five and more. 

Under the chimneys of the winter time the children of the 

world shall sing new songs. 
Among the rocking restless cradles the mothers of the world 

shall sing liew sleepy-time songs. 

Carl Sandburg 




Youth Answers the Call 

Not with the fear or the hot, swift fever of war, 
But with the calm, sure courage of the right 
I come singing of youth's far-visioned sight, 
The dreams of youth so well worth dying for. 
Not with the dread of one who finds no more 
Than the guns' rumble and the bloody fight, 
And ruin and the long sleep under the night: 
Adventure lures me like an open door! 

I come as one who has found glorious waking 
And goes supremely girded to the foe, 
Knowing my songs have power to lay him low. 
I come as one upon whose lips are breaking 
Snatches of melodies beyond unmaking, 
And in whose soul unalterable rhythms flow. 


To M. E. S. 

I fancy that perhaps you think of me 
At times, when the curtain of dusk lias fallen low 
And dim strange ghosts of daylight come and go, 
Gold-footed where the shadows leap and flee. 
And I fancy that perhaps a memory 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Lingers of silent moments we dared not know, 
Of words said softly, laughter sudden and slow, 
And tokens and signs and symbols we dared not see. 

1 picture you alone in your dark room, 

Curled in a deep chair, quiet and lost in thought, 

Pondering curious riddles in the gloom : 

Of one who came, and something that he brought; 

Of one who worked, and something that he wrought; 

Of one who searched, and something that he sought. 

H. Thompson Rich 


I do not think that skies and meadows are 
Moral, or that the fixture of a star 
Comes of a quiet spirit, or that trees 
Have wisdom in their windless silences. 
Yet these are things invested in my mood 
With constancy, and peace, and fortitude; 
That in my troubled season I can cry 
Upon the wide composure of the sky, 
And envy fields, and wish that I might be 
As little daunted as a star or tree. 

John Drinkwater 



Where, like ghosts of verdant days 

Whispering down, 
Leaves in the November haze 

Drift and drown, 

Stand two lovers, motionless 

And apart 
In their sturdy nakedness 

Of the heart 

Two dark figures, side by side 

In the mist, 
Standing as though time had died 

Since they kissed; 

Whose deep roots, alive and sound 

Blindly reach, 
Mingling in the fertile ground 

Each with each. 

Pray that we, when gaunt and old, 

Like bare trees 
Through our common earth may hold 

Close like these! 

Marjorie Allen Seiffert 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Wind whines and whines the shingle, 
The crazy pier-stakes groan; 
A senile sea numbers each single 
Slime-silvered stone. 

From whining wind and colder 

Grey sea I wrap him warm, 

And touch his fine-boned boyish shoulder 

And trembling arm. 

Around us fear, descending, 
Darkness of fear above; 
And in my heart how sweet unending 
Ache of love. 


The moon's soft golden meshes make 
All night a veil ; 

The shore-lamps in the sleeping lake 
Laburnum tendrils trail. 

The sly reeds whisper in the night 
A name her name, 
And all my soul is a delight, 
A swoon of shame. 


James Joyce 

Rain on Rahoon falls softly, softly falling 
Where my dark lover lies. 
Sad is his voice that calls me, sadly calling 
At grey moonrise. 

Love, hear thou 

How desolate the heart is, ever calling, 
Ever unanswered and the dark rain falling 
Then as now.' 

Dark too our hearts, O love, shall lie, and cold 
As his sad heart has lain 
Under the moon-grey nettles, the black mould 
And muttering rain. 

James Joyce 


When comes the last long silence to this lute, 
And by its plea no more the calm is broken, 
In charity, O world, let it be spoken : 
No human sorrow found this player mute! 

John Black 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Ah, little barefoot sandals brown and still, 
Do you long to be a-roaming on the hill, 

Flashing down the garden way, 

Fellows with the winds at play 
Are you weary waiting wingless, silent, chill? 

When the morning mounts and makes the old earth sweet 
With the lilt of laughing children in the street, 

Do you ache to join them there, 

To be twinkling down the stair 
To the darling dancing gladness of her feet? 

Do you know the asters troop in purple gloom, 
Too late to greet the love that bade them bloom ? 

That they wonder, watch and wait 

At the quiet garden-gate, 
While you weary in the lonely upper room ? 

Ah, hapless little shoes that held my all, 
My joy of life within your trappings small, 

Where's the lithe and lovely thing 

That each morning lent you wing? 
Are you weary waiting wingless for her call ? 

Mary White Slater 



The twilight hangs like smoke in the streets, 
Pearly, veiling all the stretches in illusion; 
And the new-lit lamps are the glow of hearts 
That grope unseeing and unseen. 

At the corner a lean young girl offers me lavender, 
Offers me youth and romance to hold in my palm, closed 

She gives dreams to the world, 

She who knows nought of dreams 

Gives gardens, and waters, and the young shy moon 

Hung in the laurels ; 

Gives the smoke of evening in the willows, 

And the complaining stream, 

And the lavender's subtle reawakening of old, dead thoughts. 

These, all these she gives, this lean girl 
(A shawl is over her head and her eyes look into the dark- 

What does she know of dreams? 
How more happy is she than I who have dreamed, 
And may dream no more! 

Archie Austin Coates 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Bits of us 

Peering out 

From child eyes 

What more is immortality? 


Free am I 

As a summer cloud: 

But I resent 

The insistent urge 

Of the wind. 


He drew life 

From the strings, 

He gave life 

To the strings; 

As feeling draws life from words, 

Gives life to words. 

A fragment of life 

Died away with each strain, 

But something it awakened 



David O'Neil 


With his millions 
Came gold handcuffs 
Wrought by millions 
While he slept; 
And when he awakened 
He felt them bind. 

And the crowd 


His golden bracelets. 


They may in their hearts 

Ask "Why?" 

But their faces are 

Stolid and silent : 


Facing with lowered heads 

The blizzards 

Of the plains. 


The chill clung to the water 
A bevy of boys, 
In naked beauty 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Shy with wonderment 
Huddled into themselves, 
Like street sparrows 
On snowy mornings. 


The way is empty 

As far as the eye can see ! 

But the wish of my heart 

Lights a moonpath 

Across the reaches of the desert 

To your adobe doorway ; 

And my heart feels 

The shelter 

Of your yearning. 


With following the paths that ascend 

1 have lost the sense of my dwarfish stature; 

Lost the sense of the city's bigness 

As it dwindles to mosaics; 

Lost the sense of the teeming streets 

As they dwindle into threads; 

Lost the sense of the cultivated foothills, 

As they dwindle into a faded quilt 

With following the paths that ascend! 

David O'Neil 


You take the street on which the large church fronts 
And go some twenty blocks and up a hill 
And past the three-arch bridge until you come 
To Guadalupe, where the houses are 
No stately Spanish buildings, flat and lazy, 
As in the center of the town you see them 
Heavy with some three centuries upon them, 
Accustomed to the sunlight and the earthquakes, 
To sudden dawns, long days and sudden sunsets, 
Half bored, you fancy, by these ways of nature 
But little things, ugly almost, and frail, 
With low red roofs and flimsy rough-cut doors, 
A trifle better than an Indian hut, 
Not picturesque, just dreary commonplace 
As commonplace and dreary as the flats 
Here, in your cities, where your poor folks live 
And yet, you notice, glad the sun is shining, 
And glad a cooling wind begins to blow, 
Too glad, too purely, humbly glad to say it ; 
And all the while afraid of the volcanoes, 
Holding their breath lest these should wake to crush them. 
Look through these doors and see the walls inside 
With holy pictures, saints and angels, there, 
Sold to my people, reverenced by them ; 
Look through these doors and see the children, playing 
Or wrangling, just as children will elsewhere; 
Look through these doors and see the women, sewing, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Setting their tables, doing the thousand things 
Hardly worth noticing, that women do 
Around their houses, meaning life to them. 
And if you listen you may hear them singing 
Not anywhere are better songs than theirs. 
It's nothing thrilling! Tourists do not care, 
And if you hire a common guide he'll never 
Think of directing you, to see this mere 
Unhonored dailiness of people's lives 
That is the soil the roots of beauty know. 

Yet, if you wish to know my country it's there. 

The old Cathedral that the Spaniards built, 

With hand-carved altars for two thousand saints; 

The ruined fortress where they say that Nelson, 

Who was a pirate then, lost his left eye 

Fighting a woman, all that tourists see 

That's what my country used to be, not now. 

The "dear" hotel, with palm-trees in the courtyard, 

And a self-playing piano drumming rags ; 

The shops of German, English and French owners 

The parlors of the ruling class, adorned 

With much the same bad taste as in New York 

That's not my country either! But the rows 

Of ugly little houses where men dwell, 

And women all too busy living life 

To think of faking it that is my country, 

My Nicaragua, mother of great poets. 


Salomon de la Selva 

And when you see that, what? Just this: Despite 
Newspaper revolutions and so forth, 
The different climate and the different 
Traditions and the different grandfathers, 
My people are pretty much the same as yours: 
Folks with their worries and their hopes about them, 
Working for bread and for a something more 
That ever changes, hardly twice the same; 
Happy and sad, the very joy and sorrow 
Your people feel; at heart just plainly human: 
And that is worth the journey to find out. 



I am so little, 

They say, "She's so young!" 
I can't bear it, mother, 

So I sing this song. 

Girls of fourteen 

Little babies bear; 
I am almost twenty, 

For this I despair. 

/ am so little, 

They say, "She's so young!" 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

I cant bear it, mother, 
So I sing this song. 

My breasts are ripe, 

And I am of age, 
God grant me for lover 

The king's little page! 


Little ants in a double row, 
One for coming and one for going, 
Do you know what the market's doing ? 
No, but the way the wind is blowing! 

Little ants in a double row, 
An' you never heard of market things? 
Never a whit nor a two-pence worth, 
For when it's the rain, then we grow wings, 
And take them off to be ants again 
When the cricket sings! 

Little ants in a double row, 
I am tired of buying and selling: 
I wish I were an ant like you! 
Brother, there is no telling! 

Salomon de la Sflva 



Above the steep arroyo of russet running straight with rose 
The Pecos pueblo sleeps 
A mound of dust timbered with bones. 
Three silver yuccas flower on the grave. 
For headstone, cut by frost and all its edges shriveled by 

the desert heat, 

A mission leans against the wide still sky. 
I too am watching with time. 
Where I stand, the crusted gravel cracks 
And ghosts of seven centuries are stirred. 
Shards of painted pots lie like mosaic on a shattered floor. 
A frost-white shin-bone rattles down the slope, 
Strikes a fellow and finds the plain. 
Jaws are set and dead mouths smile 
iBones of martyrs, pioneers. 
Feet that once were dancing lie with rain gods, 
And thin broken spears. 

Kate Buss 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

After the roar, after the fierce modern music 

Of rivets and hammers and trams, 

After the shout of the giant 

Youthful and brawling and strong 

Building the cities of men, 

Here is the desert of silence, 

Blinking and blind in the sun 

An old, old woman who mumbles her beads 

And crumbles to stone. 

What hills, what hills, my old true love? Old Song 

What hills are these against the sky, 
What hills so far and cold? 
These are the hills we have come to find, 
Seeking the yellow gold. 

What hills, what hills so dark and still, 
What hills so brown and dry? 
These are the hills of this desert land 
Where you and I must die. 

Oh, far away is gay Seville, 
And far are the hills of home, 


Alice Cor bin 

And far are the plains of old Castile 
Beneath the blue sky's dome. 

The bells will ring in fair Seville, 

And folk go up and down, 

And no one know where our bones are laid 

In this desert old and brown. 

What hills, what hills so dark and cold, 
What hills against the sky? 
These are the last hills you shall see 
Before you turn to die. 


Three men entered the desert alone. 

But one of them slept like a sack of stone 

As the wagon toiled and plodded along, 

And one of them sang a drinking song 

He had heard at the bar of The Little Cyclone. 

Then he too fell asleep at last, 

While the third one felt his soul grow vast 

As the circle of sand and alkali. 

His soul extended and touched the sky, 

His old life dropped as a dream that is past, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

As the sand slipped off from the wagon wheel 

The shining sand from the band of steel 

While the far horizon widened and grew 

Into something he dimly felt he knew, 

And had always known, that had just come true. 

His vision rested on ridges of sand, 

And a far-off horseman who seemed to stand 

On the edge of the world in an orange glow 

Rising to rose and a lavender tone, 

With an early star in a turquoise band. 

And his spirit sang like a taper slim, 

As the slow wheels turned on the desert's rim 

Through the wind-swept stretches of sand and sky, 

He had entered the desert to hide and fly, 

But the spell of the desert had entered him. 

Three men entered the desert alone. 
One of them slept like a sack of stone, 
One of them reached till he touched the sky. 
The other one dreamed, while the hours went by 
Of a girl at the bar of The Little Cyclone. 


Alice Corbin 


His legs were bowed in leather chaps, 
His hair was sun-bleached brown, 
No barber's hand had touched his beard 
Since he was last in town. 

Beneath his high sombrero's brim 
His gait was wide and free; 
He walked as if he rode the range, 
He hardly seemed to see 

The shops or windows of the street, 
But passed as if he dreamed. 
His pale blue eyes were desert-dimmed, 
His face was desert-seamed. 

He had an air of open space 
About him as he walked ; 
He was a priest of mystery, 
Because he never talked. 

He ate in silence ; the cafe 

Was hushed about his chair, 

He brought the mountains to the town, 

The mesas' blinding glare. 

He brought siestas of high noon, 
Sierras bleak and lone 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Where sunlight builds on sunlit hills 
A sun-bronzed overtone. 

He brought the breath of all outdoors 
Close-shut within himself 
He kept his wisdom all inside ; 
I only guessed his wealth! 


Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo 
Comes each day with his load of wood 
Piled on two burros' backs, driving them down 
Over the mesa to Santa Fe town. 

He comes around by Arroyo Chamisa 
A small grey figure, as grey as his burros 
Down from the mountains, with cedar and pine 
Girt about each of the burros with twine. 

As patient as they are, he waits in the plaza 
For someone who comes with an eye out for wood, 
Then Pedro wakes up, like a bantam at dawn 
Si, Senor, si Senor his wood is gone. 

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo 

Rides back on one burro and drives the other, 


Alice Cor bin 

With a sack of blue corn-meal, tobacco and meat, 
A bit to smoke and a bit to eat. 

Pedro Montoya of Arroyo Hondo 
If I envied any, I'd envy him! 
With a burro to ride and a burro to drive, 
There is hardly a man so rich alive. 


Do not bring me riches 
From your store in the Andes, 
Do not bring me treasures 
From deep ocean caves. 
Bring me but yourself 
And I'll gladly go with you, 
Bring me but yourself, 
And I will not be sorry. 

Do not bring me patterns 
Of silks or of satins, 
Do not bring me silver 
Or gold wrung from slaves. 
Bring me but yourself, 
And my heart will rest easy, 
And your head will be light 
With my breast as its pillow. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Do not bring me servants 

Or oxen or cattle, 

Or sheep for the shearing 

Or ships from the waves. 

Bring me but yourself 

For my share and my treasure, 

Then our fortune will grow 

And will never diminish. 


What song of mine will live? 
On whose lips will the words be sung 
Long years after I am forgotten 
A name blown between the hills 
Where some goat-herd 
Remembers my love and passion? 

He will sing of your beauty and my love, 

Though it may be in another tongue, 

To a strange tune, 

In a country beyond the seas 

A seed blown by the wind 

He will sing of our love and passion. 

dlice Cor bin 




IN examining the editorial conscience, as I have been forced 
to do of late, in order to decide whether POETRY ought to 
continue to serve the art at the expense of its guarantors, I 
have been brought face to face with modern immensities. Of 
old indeed, not so long ago each artist, each poet, worked 
for a little group in a little city; his appeal was direct and 
immediate. Now each artist exhibits his work from Rome 
to San Francisco; and each poet, in English at least, throws 
his voice to the ends of the earth. 

This sounds inspiring, but that is not the effect. In 
this case one bird in the hand is worth a whole bushful 
overseas. The far-flung audience is too remote and dis- 
tracted art becomes "irrelevant," as a writer in the New 
Republic, Mr. George Soule, said some time ago. The rela- 
tion betwen artist and audiencTe, which should be intimate, 
becomes strained to a hair or snaps altogether. The artist 
wearies of speaking into a vacuum, and the audience wearies 
of art's egoistic demands, begins to think art a luxury, a mere 
ornament, which may be accepted or dispensed with at will. 
Art tends to become, not a necessity of joyous and rational 
and expressive life, but merely one among too many demands. 
As Mr. Soule says: 

Too much of the best has been written, in too many languages. 
If one has to spend a life in study before one can recognize an 
authentic poem, true recognition will vanish. . . . Art, to keep 
vital, must be related to the community. . . . How is it to 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

be at the same time derived out of the complex and over-burdened 
modern consciousness, and made natural to a community without 
the ability to specialize in it? 

Mr. Soule and other casual complainants present the prob- 
lem, but discourage efforts at solution. In fact, the tenor of 
their criticism suggests that there is no solution that modern 
art, losing thus the immediate response, the immediate rela- 
tion with life, lacks power to survive. This may possibly 
be true today is too early to assert or deny it, though most 
of us think that certain modern achievements will prove a 
denial of it when the next age sits in judgment on our own. 

But the point I wish to make is that such a mental attitude 
is sterile: no modern artist with fighting blood in his veins 
can accept it any more than a soldier can accept the finality 
of the enemy's numerous and powerful guns. And the crit- 
ical writer who accepts it, who does not see the invitation 
that difficulty offers to a powerful and adventurous mind, 
ranges himself with the enemy instead of against him. 

Among the modern efforts at art-presentation which Mr. 
Soule deprecates are the "little reviews" and the "numerous 
magazines of verse," into which he looked some years ago 
"for the signs of greater vitality in our own literature and 
art." In pronouncing them "with a few exceptions pre- 
carious and unproductive," it never occurs to him to suspect 
the selective authority of his own mind ; and as his attitude 
represents fairly the suspicion and inhospitality toward mod- 
ern poetry of a large and highly educated and influential 
class, it must not pass without a protest. 


A Word to the Carping Critic 

What would Mr. Soule do with these desperate condi- 
tions which, in his opinion, confront our poets and artists? 
Would he close the current exhibitions and stop the special 
magazines? If not, the tone of his article belies him, for it 
nowhere admits that these are the artist's only means of 
being seen or heard, and should therefore, at all hazards, be 
encouraged. He never offers the modern poet a righting 
chance against the formidable immensities which threaten 
him, but implies, on the contrary, that so slight a chance is 
hardly worth offering. 

It is a strange fact that this type of critical mind has 
learned to take the current exhibitions of painting and sculp- 
ture, highly endowed and beprized, as a matter of course, 
while it still shrugs its shoulders at their exact parallel, the 
magazines which exhibit current poetry, and which are of 
course more or less "precarious" so long as they have no per- 
manent endowment. Why do the critics and the public 
give the painter and sculptor this great advantage over their 
brother-artist the poet, unless their minds follow naturally 
the institutional trend and find values only where they have 
been long emphatically asserted in stone and mortar and con- 
stantly re-emphasized with cash? 

The magazines of verse which "have sprung up in dozens" 
during the past five years are not yet so numerous nor so rich 
as the current exhibitions in our various cities, which give 
annual prizes of from three hundred to two thousand dol- 
lars; but their aim is identical with these to give the poet 
a fair start, his chance at the public; to exhibit the best work 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

now being produced, and thereby to lead to the production 
of better work. I think I speak for the other special maga- 
zines as well as for POETRY in thus stating the common 
object. No more than the current exhibitions can they pre- 
tend to offer numerous masterpieces; if they show one now 
and then they, and the public as well, are fortunate. 15 ut 
just as Mr. Soule may find, among hundreds of negligible 
pictures and statues in the current exhibitions, a few which 
will be permanently treasured as worthy of the great age 
we live in, so in the files of these "precarious and unproduc- 
tive magazines of verse" he will find the first appearances of 
poets afterwards distinguished; and also, if he is discerning 
enough, poems which will be cherished by coming ages as 
worthy of, and representative of, our own. 

At any rate, I would plead for a more generous and ad- 
venturous hospitality, among critical minds and critical jour- 
nals, toward the effort which we are making to win for the 
art and the poets more public respect and recognition some- 
thing of the attention and favor so freely granted to the other 
arts. Any cause, in these crowded days, needs its special place 
and organ a strongly concentrated effort by those who love 
it ; and one may almost say that every one of the few special 
magazines represents a sacrificial effort of this kind. There 
may be some better way of making room for the poet and 
gathering his audience in this enormous and preoccupied 
modern world, but as yet no one has found it, nor provided 
the subsidy which its discovery would entail. H. M. 


Irony, Laforgue, and Some Satire 

As Lewis has written, "Matter which has not intelligence 
enough to permeate it grows, as you know, gangrenous and 
rotten" to prevent quibble, let us say animal matter. Criti- 
cism is the fruit of maturity, flair is a faculty of the rarest. 
In most countries the only people who know enough of lit- 
erature to appreciate i. e. to determine the value of new 
productions are professors and students, who confine their 
attention to the old. It is the mark of the artist that he, and 
he almost alone, is indifferent to oldness or newness. Stale- 
ness he will not abide ; jade may be ancient, flowers should be 
reasonably fresh, but mutton cooked the week before last is, 
for the most part, unpalatable. 

The unripe critic is constantly falling into such pitfalls. 
"Originality," when it is most actual, is often sheer lineage, 
is often a closeness of grain. The innovator most damned 
for eccentricity is often most centrally in the track or orbit 
of tradition, and his detractors are merely ignorant. The 
artist is in sane equilibrium, indifferent utterly to oldness or 
newness, so the thing be apposite to his want. 

The scholar, often selfish, will as a rule have little to do 
with contemporary letters. He plays it safe. He confines 
himself to what many have already approved. The jour- 
nalist is left as our jury. He is often an excellent fellow, 
and, in that case, a scoffer at his chosen or enforced position. 
He says, "It is this that makes banderlog of us all." I quote 
his phrase quite correctly; he was speaking of journalists. 
He talked intelligently on many other matters, and he did 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

not look in the least like banderlog. He looked in fact 
rather like the frontispiece to my edition of Leopardi. 
Within three weeks as many journalists all successful and 
one of them, at least, at the "top of the tree" have all said 
the same thing to me in slightly varying words. The jour- 
nalist and his papers exist by reason of their "protective 
coloring." It is their job to think as their readers think at 
a given moment. 

It is impossible that Jules Laforgue should have written 
his poems in America in "the eighties." He was born in 
1860, died in 1887 of la miser e, of consumption and abject 
poverty in Paris. The vaunted sensitiveness of French per- 
ception, and the fact that he knew a reasonable number of 
wealthy and influential people, did nothing to prevent this. 
He had published two small volumes, one edition of each. 
The seventh edition of his collected poems is dated 1913, and 
doubtless they have been reprinted since then with increasing 

He is perhaps the most sophisticated of all the French 
poets, so it is not to be supposed that any wide public has 
welcomed or will welcome him in England or America. The 
seven hundred people in both those countries, who have read 
him with exquisite pleasure, will arise to combat this esti- 
mate, but no matter. His name is as well known as Mal- 
larme's, his writings perhaps are as widely distributed. The 
anthology of Van Sever and Leataud has gone into, I sup- 
pose, its fiftieth thousand. 

Un couchant des Cosmogonies! 

Ah! que la Vie est quotidienne . . . 


Irony, Laforgue, and Some Satire 

Et, du plus vrai qu'on se souvienne, 
Comme on fut pietre et sans genie. . . . 

What in heaven's name is the man in the street to make 
of this, or of the Complainte des Bons Menages! 

L'Art sans poitrine m'a trop longtemps berce dupe. 
Si ses labours sont fiers, que ses bles decevants! 
Tiens, laisse-moi beler tout aux plis de ta jupe 
Qui fleure le couvent. 

The red-blood has turned away, like the soldier in one of 
Plato's dialogues. Delicate irony, the citadel of the intelli- 
gent, has a curious effect on these people. They wish always 
to be exhorted, at all times no matter how incongruous and 
unsuitable, to do those things which almost anyone will and 
does do whenever suitable opportunity is presented. As 
Henry James has said, "It was a period when writers be- 
sought the deep blue sea 'to roll.' " 

The ironist is one who suggests that the reader should 
think, and this process being unnatural to the majority of 
mankind, the way of the ironical is beset with snares and 
with furze-bushes. 

Laforgue was a purge and a critic. He laughed out the 
errors of Flaubert, i. e., the clogging and cumbrous historical 
detail. He left Coeur Simple, L f Education, Madame 
Bovary, Bouvard. His, Laforgue's, Salome makes game of 
the rest. The short story has become vapid because sixty 
thousand story writers have all set themselves to imitating 
De Maupassant, perhaps a thousand from the original. 

I think Laforgue implies definitely that certain things in 
prose were at an end. I think also that he marks the next 
phase after Gautier in French poetry. It seems to me that 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

without a familiarity with Laforgue one can not appreciate 
i. e., determine the value of certain positives and certain 
negatives in French poetry since 1890. 

He is an incomparable artist. He is, nine-tenths of him, 
critic dealing for the most part with literary poses and 
cliches 'j taking them as his subject matter; and and this is 
the important thing when we think of him as a poet he 
makes them a vehicle for the expression of his own very 
personal emotions, of his own unperturbed sincerity. 

Je ne suis pas "ce gaillard-la!" ni Le Superbe! 
Mais mon ame, qu'un cri un peu cru exacerbe, 
Est au fond distinguee et franche comme une herbe. 

This is not the strident and satiric voice of Corbiere, calling 
Hugo "Garde Nationale epique'* and Lamartine "Lacrima- 
toire des abonnes." It is not Tailhade drawing with rough 
strokes the people he sees daily in Paris, and bursting with 
guffaws over the Japanese in their mackintoshes, the West 
Indian mulatto behind the bar in the Quartier. It is not 
Georges Fourest burlesquing in a cafe; Fourest's guffaw is 
magnificent, he is hardly satirical. Tailhade draws from life 
and indulges in occasional squabbles. Corbiere is hard- 
bitten, perhaps the most poignant poet since Villon, in very 
much Villon's manner. 

Laforgue was a better artist than any of these men save 
Corbiere. He was not in the least of their sort. Corbiere 
lived from 1842 to 1875. Tailhade was born in 1854, an d 
is still living. During the eighties he seems to have been 
writing Swinburnian verse, and his satires Au Pays du 
Mufle, now part of Poemes Aristophanesques, appeared in 


Irony, Lajorgue, and Some Satire 

1891. Corbiere's poems, first printed in 1873, were hardly 
obtainable until the reprint of 1891. Thus, so far as the 
public is concerned, these poets are almost contemporary with 
each other. 

They "reached" England in the nineties. Beardsley's 
Under the Hill was until recently the only successful 
attempt to produce "anything like Laforgue" in our tongue. 
Under the Hill was issued in a limited edition. Laforgue's 
Moralites Legendaires was issued in England by the Rick- 
etts and Hacon press in a limited edition, and there the thing 
has remained. Laforgue can never become a popular cult 
because tyros can not imitate him. Recent translations of 
his prose are held up because of copyright laws. 

I do not think one can too carefully discriminate between 
Laforgue's tone and that of his contemporary French satir- 
ists. He is the finest wrought; he is most "verbalist." Bad 
verbalism is rhetoric, or the use of cliche unconsciously, or a 
mere playing with phrases. But there is good verbalism, 
distinct from lyricism or imagism, and in this Laforgue is 
a master. He writes not the popular language of any country 
but an international tongue common to the excessively culti- 
vated, and to those more or less familiar with French lit- 
erature of the first three-fourths of the nineteenth century. 

He has done, sketchily and brilliantly, for French litera- 
ture a work not incomparable to what Flaubert was doing 
for "France" in Bouvard and Pecuchet, if one may compare 
the flight of the butterfly with the progress of an ox, both 
proceeding toward the same point of the compass. He has 
dipped his wings in the dye of scientific terminology. Pierrot 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

imberbe has 

Un air d'hydrocephale asperge. 

The tyro can not play about with such things, the game is 
too dangerous. Verbalism demands a set form used with 
irreproachable skill. Satire needs, usually, the form of cut- 
ting rhymes to drive it home. 

Chautauquas, Mrs. Eddys, Dr. Dowies, Comstocks, soci- 
eties for the prevention of all human activities are impos- 
sible in the wake of Laforgue. And he is therefore an 
exquisite poet, a deliverer of the nations, a Numa Pompilius, 
a father of light. And to the crowd this mystery, the 
mystery why such force should reside in so fragile a book, 
why such power should coincide with so great a nonchalance 
of manner, will remain forever a mystery. 

Que loin Tame type 
Qui m'a dit adieu 
Parce que mes yeux 
Manquaient de principes! 

Elle, en ce moment. 
Elle, si pain tendre, 
Oh! peut-etre engendre 
Quelque garnement. 

Car on 1'a unie 
Avec un monsieur, 
Ce qu'il y a de mieux, 
Mais pauvre en genie. 

Laforgue is perhaps incontrovertible. John B. Yeats has 
written of 'the relation of art and "certitude" and we are 
perhaps too prone to connect "certitude" only with the 
"strong silent man" of the kinema. There are, however, 
various species. Ezra Pound 




Collected Poems, by William H. Davies. Fifield, London, 

and Alfred T. Knopf, New York. 

William H. Davies writes in a curious traditional dialect 
that is to say in a language that is more or less the tongue 
of Burns and Blake and the Elizabethans ; he puts his words 
<c hind-side to" as the ancient writers were wont, and he says 
"did go" and "did sing" and so forth. Sero te amavi, etc. 
Also Mr. Shaw once introduced him as a curiosity and all 
these things put one off. Having found out this much, one 
has also found about as much fault as one can find with 
Mr. Davies, or at least all the fault that he would not find 
with himself. 

I do not know that I can submit Mr. Davies' work to 
my usual acid test. Those who have caught my habit must 
put it aside for a time. Here is Sweet Youth: 

And art thou gone, sweet Youth? Say nay! 

For dost thon know what power was thine, 
That thou could'st give vain shadows flesh, 

And laughter without any wine, 
From the heart fresh? 

And art thou gone, sweet Youth? Say nay! 

Not left me to Time's cruel spite! 
He'll pull my teeth out one by one, 

He'll paint my hair first gray, then white, 
He'll scrape my bone. 

And art thou gone, sweet Youth? Alas, 

For ever gone! I know it well. 
Earth has no atom, nor the sky, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

That has not thrown the Kiss Farewell 
Sweet Youth, good-bye. 

Now I suppose that lyric is not quite Elizabethan ; in fact, I 
am sure that it is not. Lyric it certainly is. 

I wonder what further concession we must make. Cer- 
tainly Davies uses his verse as a vehicle for a philosophy as 
well as for communicating his mood. Certainly he does 
talk about things quite as often as he presents them, possibly 
more often; still he does now and again present men or 
things without comment: as, for example, a drunk who has 
done time watching school-house after school-house in the 
hope of finding his children: 

And "Balmy" Tom is near as bad 

A-drinking ale till blind: 
No absent child grieves he, but there's 

A dead love on his mind. 

The poem is possibly sentimental. There are flaws in its 
technique. "But you know it's only about one thing in thirty 
I do that's any good," is the author's own summary criticism 
of his poems, so we may as well take the good with the flawed 
for a moment. Poet Davies is without any doubt, if one 
will but read enough of him for conviction. Despite the 
ancient speech, the speech that is at least as old as Tom 
Moore, there is here and there the fine phrase and the still 
finer simplicity. The last line of the above four, for example. 
I think I had better quote one poem which makes it neces- 
sary to "accept Davies" as a poet, after which we can at our 
leisure decide which verses we are going to hold as "good 
Davies." The poem is A Lovely Woman: 


William H. Davies, Poet 

Now I can see what Helen was: 

Men can not see this woman pass 

And not be stirred; as summer's breeze 

Sets leaves in battle on the trees. 

A woman moving gracefully 

With golden hair enough for three, 

Which mercifully! is not loose, 

But lies in coils to her head close; 

With lovely eyes, so dark and blue, 

So deep, so warm, they burn me through. 

I see men follow her, as though 

Their homes were where her steps should go. 

She seemed as sent to our cold race 

For fear the beauty of her face 

Made Paradise in flames like Troy 

I could have gazed all day with joy. 

In fancy I could see her stand 

Before a savage, fighting band, 

And make them, with her words and looks, 

Exchange their spears for shepherd's crooks, 

And sing to sheep in quiet nooks; 

In fancy saw her beauty make 

A thousand gentle priests uptake 

Arms for her sake, and shed men's blood. 

The fairest piece of womanhood, 

Lovely in feature, form and grace, 

I ever saw, in any place. 

Frankly I do not think that most of Davies' poems are 
so good as the two just quoted. Yet sometimes he uses the 
"classic-English" manner to perfection. In Dreams of the 
Sea, for example, are lines and strophes which I think we 
would accept without quaver or question if we found them in 
volumes of accepted "great poets" : 

And I have seen thy gentle breeze as soft 
As summer's when it makes the cornfields run ; 

And I have seen thy rude and lusty gale 
Make ships show half their bellies to the sun. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Thou knovvest the way to tame the wildest life, 
Thou knowest the way to bend the great and proud : 

I think of that Armada whose puffed sails, 

Greedy and large, came swallowing every cloud. 

But I have seen the sea-boy, young and drowned, 

Lying on shore and, by thy cruel hand, 
A seaweed beard was on his tender chin, 

His heaven-blue eyes were filled with common sand. 

And yet, for all, I yearn for thee again, 

To sail once more upon thy fickle flood: 
I'll hear thy waves wash under my death-bed, 

Thy salt is lodged forever in my blood. 

Robustezza! This verse is not in the latest mode, but 
compare it with verse of its own kind and you will not find 
much to surpass it. Wordsworth, for instance, would have 
had a deal of trouble trying to better it. The sound quality 
is, again, nearer that of the Elizabethans than of the nine- 
teenth-century writers. The philologist will find scarcely a 
Latin word in the foregoing verses: "Armada" is a proper 
name, and "gentle" is so tempered by mediaeval French 
popular usage that one forgets its Latin derivation. I do 
not wish the reader to imply from this that the use of Latin 
words in English is taboo. Simply: certain effects are very 
often due to the omission of Latin words from the verse. 

There is a resonance and a body of sound in these verses 
of Davies which I think many vers-librists might envy. 

I am by no means attempting a full examination of Davies 
in this brief annotation. I think I have, however, quoted 
enough of him to show that he should be considered at least 
as much for his verses as for his better known prose, Auto- 
biography of a Super-Tramp. Ezra Pound 


A Modern Solitary 

Ideal Passion Sonnets, by George Edward Woodberry. 

Printed for the Woodberry Society. 
George Edward Woodberry a study of his Poetry, by Louis 

V. Ledoux. Poetry Review Co., Cambridge. 

Mr. Woodberry's sonnet sequence has the frail beauty of 
perfumed summer days, days spent in an old garden, out of 
range of the winds of the world. The garden is formally 
patterned but softly overgrown a sweet refuge for a sensi- 
tive solitary soul. In its paths, beside its mossy marble 
finials, a poet may live in the spirit and be indulgent of 
dream. He may see the light that never was, and celebrate 
a mystic marriage with a lady too fine and fair for flesh ; and 
then, dreaming himself into etherealized passion, he may 
weave a fabric of poesy in her praise. 

Indeed, the suggestion of the book is monastic. The poet 
took the vows early, and his life has been expurgated of all 
common things. He is monkish in both his distaste for the 
world and his rapture of spiritual emotion. Mrs. Hender- 
son, four years ago in POETRY, characterized one of Mr. 
Woodberry 's poems as "the tragic experience of a conven- 
tional soul facing unconventionality life." But the at- 
tempt was not only tragic but abortive Mr. Woodberry has 
never really faced life ; he could not. And the present poem, 
recording a frank withdrawal, is perhaps the truest expres- 
sion we have had of his delicate, bookish, meditative soul. 

It has fineness of form and phrase, perfect finish, polish. 
It is an expert modern handling of old forms, old fashions, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

old ideals. It has the pathetic and somewhat futile beauty 
of a fine lady of the old regime, revisiting the glimpses of 
the moon in these days of war and slang and bad manners, 
and feeling out of place as she confesses virginal ecstasies. 
Mr. Woodberry has never lived in his own time, and the 
penalty he pays is that nothing his art fashions can have quite 
the quality of an authentic original. No one today can 
quite "put over" a Louis XV Sevres plate or a Donatello 
altar, or a sonnet sequence of disembodied and ecstatic pas- 
sion. The moment for those things is gone; our attempts at 
them have the flavor of a revival, a reproduction. Their sin- 
cerities are bookish sincerities, ardors for truth to type and 
period not life but literature. 

This sonnet, for example, is almost, but not quite, Sir 
Philip Sidney: 

Full gently then Love laid me on his breast, 
And kissed me, cheek and hands and lips and brow, 
So sweetly that I do remember now 
The wonder of it, and the unexpressed, 
Infinite honor wherewith his eyes caressed 
Youth in my soul, then ripening to the vow 
That binds us; and he said to me: "Sleep, thou; 
One comes who brings to thee eternal rest." 

I know not how in that dread interval 
My lady did herself to me make known, 
So deep a slumber did upon me fall; 
I woke to know her being in my own, 
The nameless mystery whereon I call 
When every hope hath from my bosom flown. 

Sonnet XVII is a still franker expression of monastic 
rapture. Perhaps XXXI is the furthest of all from that 
mood a fine tribute of gratitude for royal lineage: 


A Modern Solitary 

The kings of thought and lords of chivalry 
Knighted me in great ages long ago. 

Mr. Ledoux's book is a reverent and thoughtful "biog- 
raphy and critical estimate" of the poet, with a complete 
bibliography. If, in our opinion, it overestimates his art, we 
at least get from it an admirable presentation of the point 
of view of his admirers. H. M. 


The Story of Eleusis a Lyrical Drama, by Louis V. Ledoux. 

Macmillan Co. 
Yzdra, a Tragedy, by Louis V. Ledoux. Macmillan Co. 

These two plays may be regarded as experiments in an 
old fashion, one as quaintly outworn today as hoop-skirts or 
powdered wigs. They are eighteenth-century classic, the 
studied library work of a cultivated man of letters, who fol- 
lows literature with gentlemanly discretion, as an agreeable 
occupation for his leisure. And The Story of Eleusis has a 
certain charm : the old gods, the old myths, are handled with 
a delicate touch; we feel soft airs blowing perfumes from 
far away. The characters are figures in a pale frieze they 
move as in a dream, behind a veil. If the poet can not 
aspire to the Greek magic, and if some of his choruses are too 
obviously of Swinburnian cadence, he yet attains a certain 
harmony of tone in a balanced composition, and fine lines, of 
studied and reverent simplicity, light the picture with notes 
of soft color. 

In Yzdra, published later, we find the style stiffening, as is 
natural with a manner so essentially artificial. Even that 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

whalebone fashion has outgrown, one would think, such 
tinsel phrases as ay-forsooth, perchance, 'tis he, as wise as fair, 
and such lines as 

Some fate impendeth in the womb of time 

I cannot choose but love in spite of all. 

Moreover, the theme is beyond its reach. Alexander the 
Great wears knee-breeches and a powdered wig, like the 
actors of the early Georges, and is never for a moment con- 
vincing, either as king, conquering soldier, or passionate 

Both Eleusis and Yzdra are period plays, the period being 
neither Persephone's nor Alexander's, but the later Addison's. 
One has more atmosphere than the other, but, like the period 
rooms of the modern rich, they don't quite get the flavor. 

H. M. 


Songs of Childhood^ ( by Walter de la Mare. Longmans 

Green & Co., London and New York. 

It is a delight to have a new edition of these lovely lyrics 
for children, first printed most of them fifteen years ago, 
and of late out of print. The author was a lyrist of sure 
instinct then as now, even though certain of his later poems 
have a rarer beauty. Already we have the delicate humor, 
the eerieness and wistfulness so characteristic of the man. 

One wonders whether the faint light perfume of these 
poems would escape one's robust child-friends. Perhaps 
some of them would feel it; anyway this one on The Fly 
should appeal to them all : 


For Children 

How large unto the tiny fly 
Must little things appear! 

A rose-bud like a feather bed, 
Its prickle like a spear; 

A dewdrop like a looking-glass, 

A hair like golden wire; 
The smallest grain of mustard-seed 

As fierce as coals of fire; 

A loaf of bread a lofty hill; 

A wasp a cruel leopard; 
And specks of salt as bright to see 

As lambkins to a shepherd. 



Verses, by Hilaire Belloc. With an Introduction by Joyce 

Kilmer. Lawrence J. Gomme. 

Mr. Kilmer says: "Hilaire Belloc is a poet. Also he is a 
Frenchman, an Englishman, an Oxford man, a Roman 
Catholic, a country gentleman, a soldier, a democrat, and a 
practical journalist. He is always all these things." 

But only very casually is Hilaire Belloc a poet, only now 
and then in this book. Always he is a personality, though ; 
in his ballads and devotional poems and drinking songs there 
is a rich feel and flavor, whether they are quite poetry or 
not; sometimes they are frankly nonsense or slap-dash jour- 
nalism. But the three poems of the Virgin Our Lord and 
Our Lady, In a Boat and Courtesy have a high beauty and 
simplicity, and The Leader is that rare treasure of the muse, 
a truly heroic ballad, and with a modern meaning. We 
quote the beginning and end: 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The sword fell down: I heard a knell; 

I thought that ease was best; 
And sullen men that buy and sell 

Were host, and I was guest. 
All unashamed I sat with swine, 

We shook the dice for 'war; 
The night was drunk with an evil wine 

But she went on before. 

She rode a steed of the sea-foam breed, 

All faery was her blade, 
And the armour on her tender limbs 

Was of the moonshine made. 

I hear them all, my fathers call, 

I see them how they ride, 
And where had been that rout obscene 

Was an army straight with pride. 
A hundred thousand marching men, 

Of squadrons twenty score, 
And after them all the guns, the guns, 

But she went on before. 

Her face was like the king's command 

When all the swords are drawn. 
She stretched her arms and smiled at us, 
Her head was higher than the hills. 
She led us to the endless plains. 

We lost her in the dawn. 


Pilgrimage, by Eric Shepherd. Longmans, Green & Co. 

Because of its absolute sincerity one likes and respects this 
book even though not in accord with its religious doctrines 
or its doctrines of art. The emotion and the craftsmanship 
are so honest, so lucid and basically sound, one wonders what 
poetry Mr. Shepherd would have given us if he had come to 
see the world with equal sincerity through different glasses. 
There is a delicacy and perfection of form in these poems 


Other Books of Verse 

which suggests The Shropshire Lad, and the same blending 
of intimacy with reserve. H. H. 

City Dust, by Jane Burr. Frank Shay, New York. 

The best poems in this book are those that have to do with 
people, but only the "Tilly" ones are really good. The 
foundling baby is a delightful enviable baby, but not quite 
sublimated into poetry. The Lunger on the Roof and the 
wife in The Old Debt sound as if the writer had not yet 
come into sharp enough realization of these people to make 
them live in poems. The tone of the book is journalistic, 
and one wishes Jane Burr had waited a little longer before 
going into print. H. H. 



Dear Madam: A friend called my attention to the version 
of my Glory Trail appearing in your August issue, also to 
your^editorial announcement that I was "unknown." I men- 
tally admitted the truth of the latter statement, but felt 
pained that my obscurity should be trumpeted about rlu- 
country through the pages of your excellent magazine. To- 
day, however, I saw your September issue and my wounds 
are healed. While I am in a good humor I will set an 
honest heel squarely upon the corns of my writhing egotism 
and confess that you are right in saying that the cow- 
punchers' version of the song is an improvement over the 

During my years on the ranch in the border country I had 
no idea that more than one or two of my companions of the 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

roundup ever read my poetical paroxysms. If I had, appre- 
hensions for my personal safety might have made my life on 
the range a less perfect memory than it is. One night around 
the fire, while I was cooking for an outfit on the drive, dur- 
ing the alcoholic disability of the regular incumbent, I heard 
the story of a cowboy, in the Chiricahua mountains, I think, 
who had roped a bobcat and dragged it to death. The same 
night Dave asked Bronc to sing a song (a real folk-song I 
reckon that must have been) which began with the words, 
" 'Way high up on Pecos stream ;" but Bronc couldn't re- 
member it. These fragments, with various amazing lies 
which the boys told of their prowess with the rope, went 
into my melting pot, however, and a year or so later the 
rhyme of High-Chin Bob resulted, much as Aaron's golden 
calf came out of the fire after the Israelitish bracelets and 
earrings had been thrown in. 

And so there isn't an atom of mystery about it, nor a scrap 
of romance. Instead of being some mysterious, sun-tinged 
singer of the old free days who has now crossed the Great 
Divide and is drinking straight whisky and shooting holes 
through the roof of the Valhalla to which Wild Bill and 
Calamity Jane and Big-nosed George and the Apache Kid 
and the other old worthies have gone, I am a drearily ordi- 
nary Western man who wears shoes and goes to church and 
boosts for prohibition, like most of the other reformed cow- 
punchers. Your kind words, though, rattle around in my 
heart as merrily as the ball on a roulette wheel, and I thank 
you for them. Badger Clark 



It is the happy but difficult prerogative of the editorial 
staff of POETRY to award this month two prizes for poems 
printed in the magazine during its fifth year from October, 
1916, to September, 1917, inclusive. 

Poems by members of the committee are withdrawn from 
competition, the members represented this year being Mrs. 
Henderson (Alice Corbin), Mrs. Tietjens, Mr. Pound, Mr. 
Fuller, Miss Wyatt and Miss Monroe. Miss Wyatt, to 
her great regret, has been unable, however, to serve on the 
committee of award this year. Translations are not con- 

dollars, offered by Mr. Salmon O. Levinson, of Chicago, 
for a poem, or group of poems, by a citizen of the United 
States, is awarded to 


of Chicago, for his one-act tragedy Grotesques, published in 
the number for October, 1916. 

The prize of one hundred dollars, offered by a guarantor 
for a poem, or group of poems, without restriction of 
nationality, is awarded to 


for his poem, Snow, published in November, 1916. Mr. 
Frost, as we all know, lives in Franconia, N. H., but for 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

the last year or two, as a member of the faculty of Amherst 

College, he has spent the college year at Amherst, Mass. 

Both prizes are awarded by a plurality vote of the com- 
mittee, a minority dissenting and scattering in each case. 
The following poems receive honorable mention: 

Sa-a Nara'i, by Frank S. Gordon (February). 

War, by Eloise Robinson (May). 

Mid- American Songs, by Sherwood Anderson (September). 

Pocahontas, by Vachel Lindsay (July). 

Kin to Sorrow, by Edna St. Vincent Millay (August). 

Modern Lamentations, by John Gould Fletcher (December). 

Resurrection, by D. H. Lawrence (June). 

High Chin Bob, by Badger Clark (August). 

Moonlight Sonata, by John Hall Wheelock (September). 

Country Rhymes, by Orrick Johns (March). 

Simples, by James Joyce (May). 

Wind-flowers, by Mark Turbyfill (May). 

City Pastorals, by Helen Hoyt (March). 

The News, by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (January). 

Songs out of Stress, by Sara Teasdale (June). 

History, by William Carlos Williams (August). 

Dirge, by Alfred Kreymborg (April). 

Prussians Don't Believe in Dreams, by Morris Gilbert 

The Fugitive, by Gladys Cromwell (April). 

Poems, by Edward Eastaway (February). 

(Edward Thomas was the real name of this poet, who 
died in action last spring on the English front.) 



Mr. Carl Sandburg, of Chicago, author of Chicago Poems (Henry 
Holt and Co.) needs no introduction to our readers. Nor docs 
Alice Corbin (Mrs. Wm. P. Henderson) also of Chicago but now 
living in Santa Fe, N. M. 

Mr. H. Thompson Rich, of New York, now editor of The Forum, 
has also appeared before; and Marjorie Allen Seiffert (Mrs. Otto 
S.) of Moline, 111. 

Mr. James Joyce, the well known Irish novelist, was introduced 
to our readers as a poet last spring. Mr. John Drinkwater, the 
English poet, author of Swords and Ploughshares and Olton Pools 
(Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd.), has appeared several times in POETRY. 

The other poets on our list this month are new to our readers. 
Mr. Salomon de la Selva, a young Nicaraguan poet who now 
lives in New York, was a godson and friend of his famous com- 
patriot Ruben Dario. Our readers will remember his study of 
Dario and his poetry in July, 1916. Mr. de la Selva says of his 
two lyrics: "The two folk-songs are genuine, the first one espe- 
cially centuries old; and there is hardly a country where Spanish 
is spoken but possesses its versions of these songs." Mr. de la 
Selva has published a number of books abroad, and has contributed 
verse and prose in Spanish and English to various magazines of 
the two Americas; among his contributions being Spanish transla- 
tions of certain modern American poets. 

Miss Kate Buss, of Boston, is the author of Jevons Block, pub- 
lished last spring by the McGrath-Sherrill Press. And Mary 
White Slater, of Ironton, Ohio, is the author of The Child Book 
and a contributor to various magazines. 

Mr. David O'Neil, of St. Louis, and Mr. Archie Austin Coates, 
of New York, will soon publish their first books of verse. And Mr. 
John Black, a young New York journalist, born in Scotland, is now 
with the American army "somewhere in France." 

POETRY offers its readers this month the first of a series of articles 
on modern French poets, to be written by Mr. Pound, Mr. T. S. 
Eliot, Mr. Jean de Bosschere and perhaps others, and to appear at 
irregular intervals. The New Age in 1913 printed Mr. Pound's 
series, The Approach to Paris, but since then French aspects of 
the act have shifted somewhat and new names must be considered. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 



Poems (1904-1917), by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson., Macmillan Co. 
Sea Moods and Other Poems, by Edward Bliss Reed. Yale Univ. 


First Poems, by Edwin Curran. Privately printed, Zanesville, O. 
Rhymes of Our Home Folks, by John D. Wells. Harper & Bros. 
Dreamers and Other Poems, by Theodosia Garrison. Geo. H. Doran 


Main Street and Other Poems, by Joyce Kilmer. Geo. H. Doran Co. 
War Ballads and Verses, by William Hathorn Mills. Privately 

printed, San Bernardino, Cal. 
Love Songs, by Sara Teasdale. Macmillan Co. 
Poems, by Maude Lalita Johnson. Privately printed, Los Angeles, 

Roses and Rebellion, by Robert DeCamp Leland. Four Seas Co., 

Old Christmas and Other Kentucky Tales in Verse, by William 

Aspen wald Bradley. Houghton Mifflin Co. 
The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems, by Vachel Lindsay. 

Macmillan Co. 
Wisconsin Sonnets, by Charles H. Winke. Badger Publishing Co., 

Milwaukee, Wis. 

Christ in the Poetry of Today, an Anthology from American Poets, 

Compiled by Martha Foote Crowe. The Woman's Press, New 

Notre Dame Verse, Compiled and Edited by Speer Strahan and 

Chas. L. O'Donnell. Univ. Press, Notre Dame, Ind. 
The Answering Voice, One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women, 

selected by Sara Xeasdale. Houghton Mifflin Co. 
A Treasury of War Poetry: British and American Poems of the 

World War, 1914-1917. Edited by Gorge Herbert Clarke. 

Houghton Mifflin Co. 


Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, by Amy Lowell. Mac- 
millan Co. 


No. Ill 

A Magazine of \ferse 



THE stage is indistinguishable when the curtain rises. 
The room represented is semi-circular. In the center, 
at the back, is a large round window, covered by long cur- 
tains. There is a door at the right and one at the left. 
Farther forward on the stage there are two long, low, 
wooden tables, one at the right and one at the left. The 
walls and the curtains over the window are of a dark reddish- 
purple, with a dim pattern of antique gold. 

Carlos is an eccentric pedant of about forty. He is dressed 
in black. He wears close-fitting breeches and a close-fitting, 
tightly-buttoned, short coat with long tails. His hair is 
rumpled. He leaps upon the stage through the door at the 
right. Nothing is visible through the door. He has a long 
thin white lighted taper, which he holds high above his 
head as he moves, fantastically, over the stage, examining 
the room in ivhich he finds himself. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

When he has completed examining the room, he tip-toes 
to the table at the right and lights a single candle at the 
edge of the table nearest the front of the stage. It is a thin 
black candle, not less than two feet high. All the other 
candles are like it. They give very little light. 

He speaks in a lively manner, but is over-nice in sounding 
his words. 

As the candle begins to burn, he steps back, regarding it. 
Nothing else is visible on the table. 

Carlos : 

How the solitude of this candle penetrates me! I light 
a candle in the darkness. It fills the darkness with solitude, 
which becomes my own. I become a part of the solitude of 
the candle ... of the darkness flowing over the house 
and into it. . . This room . . . and the profound room 
outside. . . Just to go through a door, and the change 
... the becoming a part, instantly, of that profounder 
room . . . and equally to feel it communicating, with the 
same persistency, its own mood, its own influence . . . and 
there, too, to feel the lesser influences of the shapes of things, 
of exhalations, sounds ... to feel the mood of the candle 
vanishing and the mood of the special night coming to take 
its place. . . 

[He sighs. After a pause he pirouettes, and then 

I was always affected by the grand style. And yet I 
have been thinking neither of mountains nor of morgues. . . 


Wallace Stevens 

To think of this light and of myself . . . it is a duty. 
... Is it because it makes me think of myself in other 
places in such a light ... or of other people in other 
places in such a light? How true that is: other people in 
other places in such a light. . . If I looked in at that 
window and saw a single candle burning in an empty room 
. . . but if I saw a figure. . . If, now, I felt that there 
was someone outside. . . The vague influence . . . the 
influence that clutches. . . But it is not only here and 
now. . . It is in the morning ... the difference be- 
tween a small window and a large window ... a blue 
window and a green window. . . It is in the afternoon 
and in the evening ... in effects, so drifting, that I 
know myself to be incalculable, since the causes of what 
I am are incalculable. . . 

[He springs toward the table, flourishing his taper. At 
the end farthest from the front of the stage, he discovers a 
second candle, which he lights. He goes back to his former 

The solitude dissolves. . . The light of two candles has 
a meaning different from the light of one . . . and an ef- 
fect different from the effect of one. . . And the proof that 
that is so, is that I feel the difference. . . The associations 
have drifted a little and changed, and I have followed in this 
change. . . If I see myself in other places in such a light, 
it is not as I saw myself before. If I see other people in 
other places in such a light, the people and places are differ- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

ent from the people and places I saw before. The solitude 
is gone. It is as if a company of two or three people had 
just separated, or as if they were about to gather. These 
candles are too far apart. 

[He flourishes his taper above the table and finds a third 
candle in the center of it, which he lights.] 

And yet with only two candies it would have been a cold 
and respectable company; for the feeling of coldness and 
respectability persists in the presence of three, modified a 
little, as if a kind of stateliness had modified into a kind 
of elegance. . . How far away from the isolation of the 
single candle, as arrogant of the vacancy around it as three, 
are arrogant of association. . . It is no longer as if a com- 
pany had just separated. It is only as if it were about to 
gather . . . as if one were soon to forget the room because 
of the people in the room . . . people tempered by the 
lights around them, affected by the lights around them . . . 
sensible that one more candle would turn this formative 
elegance into formative luxury. 

[He lights a fourth candle. He indulges his humor.'] 

And the suggestion of luxury into the suggestion of mag- 

[He lights a fifth candle.] 

And the beginning of magnificence into the beginning of 


Wallace Stevens 

[He lights a sixth candle. He sighs deeply.] 

In how short a time have I been solitary, then respect- 
able in a company so cold as to be stately, then elegant, 
then conscious of luxury, even magnificence; and now I 
come, gradually, to the beginning of splendor. Truly, I 
am a modern. 

[He dances around the room.] 

To have changed so often and so much ... or to have 
been changed ... to have been carried by the lighting 
of six candles through so many lives and to have been brought 
among so many people. . . This grows more wonderful. 
Six candles burn like an adventure that has been completed. 
They are established. They are a city ... six common 
candles . . . seven. . . 

[He lights another and another, until he has lighted 
twelve, saying after them, in turn:] 

Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. 

[Following this, he goes on tip-toe to the center of the 
stage, where he looks at the candles. Their brilliance has 
raised his spirits to the point of gaiety. He turns from the 
lighted table to face the dark one at the left. He holds his 
taper before him.] 

Darkness again . . . as if a night wind had come blow- 
ing . . . but too weakly to fling the cloth of darkness. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

[He goes to the window, draws one of the curtains a little 
and peers out. He sees nothing.'] 

I had as lief look into night as look into the dark corner 
of a room. Darkness expels me. 

[He goes forward, holding his taper high above him, until 
he comes to the table at the left. He finds this covered with 
candles, like the table at the right, and lights them, with 
whimsical motions, one by one. When all the candles have 
been lighted, he runs to the center of the stage, holding his 
hands over his eyes. Then he returns to the window and 
flings aside the curtains. The light from the window falls 
on the tall stalks of flowers outside. The flowers are like 
hollyhocks, but they are unnaturally large, of gold and silver. 
He speaks excitedly.] 

Where now is my solitude and the lonely figure of soli- 
tude? Where now are the two stately ones that left their 
coldness behind them? They have taken their bareness with 
them. Their coldness has followed them. Here there will 
be silks and fans ... the movement of arms ... ru- 
mors of Renoir . . . coiffures . . . hands . . . scorn 
of Debussy . . . communications of body to body. . . 
There will be servants, as fat as plums, bearing pineapples 
from the Azores . . . because of twenty-four candles, 
burning together, as if their light had dispelled a phantasm, 
falling on silks and fans ... the movement of arms. . . 
The pulse of the crowd will beat out the shallow pulses 
. , . it will fill me. 


Wallace Stevens 

[A strong gust of wind suddenly blows into the room, 
extinguishing several of the candles on the table at the left. 
He runs to the table at the left and looks, as if startled, at 
the extinguished candles. He buries his head in his arms.] 

That, too, was phantasm. . . The night wind came into 
the room. . . The fans are invisible upon the floor. 

[In a burst of feeling, he blows out all the candles that 
are still burning on the table at the left. He crosses the 
stage and stands before the table at the right. After a 
moment he goes slowly to the back of the stage and draws 
the curtains over the window. He returns to the table at 
the right.'] 

What is there in the extinguishing of light? It is like 
twelve wild birds flying in autumn. 

[He blows out one of the candles.] 

It is like an eleven-limbed oak tree, brass-colored in frost. 
. . . Regret. . . 

[He blows out another candle.] 

It is like ten green sparks of a rocket, oscillating in air. . . 
The extinguishing of light . . . how closely regret fol- 
lows it. 

[He blows out another candle.] 

It is like the diverging angles that follow nine leaves drift- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

ing in water, and that compose themselves brilliantly on the 
polished surface. 

[He blows out another candle.] 

It is like eight pears in a nude tree, flaming in twilight. . . 
The extinguishing of light is like that. The season is sor- 
rowful. The air is cold. 

[He blows out another candle.] 

It is like the six Pleiades, and the hidden one, that makes 
them seven. 

[He blows out another candle.] 

It is like the seven Pleiades, and the hidden one, that makes 
them six. 

[He blows out another candle.] 

The extinguishing of light is like the five purple palma- 
tions of cinquefoil withering. . . It is full of the incipi- 
encies of darkness ... of desolation that rises as a feeling 
rises. . . Imagination wills the five purple palmations -of 
cinquefoil. But in this light they have the appearance of 
withering. . . To feel and, in the midst of feeling, to 
imagine . . . 

[He blows out another candle.] 

The extinguishing of light is like the four posts of a 
cadaver, two. at its head and two at its feet, to-wit: its 
arms and legs. 


Wallace Stevens 

[He blows out another candle.] 
It is like three peregrins, departing. 

[He blows out another candle.] 
It is like heaven and earth in the eye of the disbeliever. 

[He blows out another candle. He dances around the 
room. He returns to the single candle that remains burning.] 

The extinguishing of light is like that old Hesper, clapped 
upon by clouds. 

[He stands in front of the candle, so as to obscure it.] 

The spikes of his light bristle around the edge of the bulk. 
The spikes bristle among the clouds and behind them. There 
is a spot where he was bright in the sky. . . It remains 
fixed a little in the mind. 

[He opens the door at the right. Outside, the night is as 
blue as water. He crosses the stage and opens the door at 
the left. Once more he flings aside the curtains. He extin- 
guishes his taper. He looks out. He speaks with elation.] 

Oh, ho! Here is matter beyond invention. 
[He springs through the window. Curtain.] 

Wallace Stevens 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Autumn, 1916. 

The mimics dance in the cities, 

Pavlowa in New York; 

Death dances in Europe 

Like a bottle without cork, 

Life loses its contents 

While the mimics dance in New York, 

Offering the glories 

Fabled in old stories. 

But the leaves dance in the forest, 
Gold and scarlet in the north; 
And the gray waves dance, 
And the wind stalks forth 
Like torn paper lanterns, 
Like confetti in the north, 
Leaves are whirling about, 
A purple pallid rout. 

Trees burn among the pines, 
Rose and yellow torches; 
The summer guests are gone, 
Nobody sweeps their porches 
Two or three lumbermen 
Among the golden torches 
Swing huge sledge hammers, 
While the gray lake clambers. 


Dorothy Dudley 

Two of them love whiskey, 
One has loved the sea; 
All of them have faces 
The wind has carved in glee. 
The mimics dance in the cities, 
Death across the sea 
Leaves dance in the north, 
And the deer run forth. 

Dorothy Dudley 


dear brown lands, out of you I blossomed; 

1 feed on your rooted and wandering fruits. 
And when my puzzled restlessness is done, 
You clasp me again, 

Scattering me over your brown bosom 
My mother, my sustainer, my children, 
And my dusty immortality. 


November, you old alchemist, 

Who would have thought 

You could turn the high arrogance of golden-rod 

To still plumes of silver? 

Clement Wood 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


They will fashion their cities after you 
When there is peace, 
Pale glory in the mist, 
White waterfall of granite 
From heaven. 


Have you ever seen the wind 
Ruffle the rivers of people, 
Down in the bottoms 
Of streets? 


There were white petals, millions of them, 
Fluttering over the water, to the very edge of our ship, 
From the moon. 


Have you no pity for me, 
Who have found 
A little beauty? 


Louis Grudin 

How many stars, how many 


Will you blow out with your breath 

When you come to me? 


I squandered 

All I had ; I wanted to live. Now nothing 

Is left me. 


With my own hands 
I blotted out the sun. 
God is a satirist. 


All my beautiful moments 
I give away, 
But the shadows in me 
Are dumb. 

Louis Grudin 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

A crescent moon 

Behind the pines, 
The cry of a loon 

Where the river winds. 

The blackened trees 

On the long gray shore, 

A sob in the breeze 

That the day is no more. 


A night of strange longing 

Of dark unrest 

Has fallen over the sands. 

Like ghosts that are thronging, 
Pale shapes from the waters 
Arise and I see their hands. 

I hear a faint weeping; 

Autumn is dead; 

Withered the leaves on the ground. 

A gray mist is creeping 

Out of the north 

With the stealth of an Indian's hound. 

Helen Dudley 



Old Mexico 


No matter how you love me 

You cannot keep me home. 
Along the airy lane of bells 

Beyond the peacock dome, 

I know the way to travel, 

And I shall go at will 
Where the stone sails await the wind 

Upon the holy hill. 

The mariners who made them, 

They have been long away: 
But when a wind from Heaven blows, 

They will come back some day; 

And I shall hear them singing 
And watch the stone sails fill, 

Till the white city like a ship 
Moves out across the hill. 


Dusk, and the far volcano wears 

A film of sunset sky. 
The valley glimmers like the sea, 

And little winds go by. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The jasmine flower upon my breast 

Is an insistent word, 
But patiently my stubborn heart 

Pretends it has not heard. 


Orchid, elfin orchid, 
Made of purple air, 

Yours is wistful silence, 
Hard to bear. 

Were he here, my lover, 

Wiser far than I, 
We should hear your beauty 

Sing and sigh. 


Oh, cut me reeds to blow upon, 

Or gather me a star, 
But leave the sultry passion-flowers 

Growing where they are. 

I fear their sombre yellow deeps, 
Their whirling fringe of black, 

And he who gives a passion-flower 
Always asks it back. 


Grace Hazard Con 


You would not keep me near you, 
You could not hold me far, 

And now it does not matter 
Where you are. 

My heart has long forgotten 
The ardent words you said, 

But not the great stars blazing 


The cactus candelabra 

Are lit with yellow flowers : 
Oh, take my jocund mornings, 

My glancing April hours ! 

Do you not know the desert 
Is slow to bloom again? 

The trail is long to April, 
Across an arid plain ; 

And it is but a moment 
The time of cactus flowers. 

Before the dusty journey, 

Come share my April hours! 


POETRY: A Magazine of Perse 


Is it long to Orizaba? 

Have I far to go? 
When I ask the carrier-pigeons, 

They don't know. 

There's a mountain I am seeking, 
Feathered all with snow. 

When I ask the valley orchids, 
They don't know. 

Like an orchid pale and folded, 

Like a snowy bird, 
That's the mountain I am seeking 

Have you heard? 

You can see it on the sunrise 
When the clear winds blow. 

Is it far to Orizaba, 
Do you know? 


I climb the sacred hillside 
Up through the evening blue: 

The ancient steps are silvered 
By starlight and the dew. 

And if the gray church vanish, 
My soul may worship still, 


Grace Hazard Conkling 

For God has hung the Southern Cross 
Above the kneeling hill. 


I see them in the storm- washed light, 

Like ebony against the sand; 
The wrecks of ships lost long ago 

From many a mellow land. 

Oh, may the sand soon cover them, 
And all their sorrow be unlearned! 

They are too like those dreams of mine 
That nevermore returned. 


Oh, for the comet's trail 

Across the purple sky, 
So far we could not hear 

The glory rushing by! 

It will not come again 

For more than ninety years, 
When we shall have forgotten 

All our tears! 

Grace Hazard Conkling 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

I cannot tell 

How much I love you. 

A haunting legend frightens me. 

The men who dared for Helen 

Knew sacredly 

What I have learned and fear: 

The swan that sings its soul 

Must die, my dear, 

Must die. 

I cannot tell 

How much I love you. 


There was a Man 

Once, long ago, 

Who loved you so divinely, 

That he hung upon a cross 

And died 

Died shamefully for you. 

My darling, would you understand? 

I cannot tell 

How much I love you, sweet-my-dear, 

Unless I die 

Unless I die. 


Earl Marlatt 


I cannot understand people. 
They are so strange. 

I had a sweetheart 

Who seemed to love me. 

I gave her roses, sweets, and gems. 

I gave her all I had my heart 

And she broke it. 

I cannot forgive her. 
Women are heartless. 

God had a world 
That should have loved Him. 
He gave it beauty, light, and life. 
He gave it all He had His Son 
And it crucified Him. 

People are strange. 
I cannot understand them. 
But God- 
He loves them. 

Earl Marlatt 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Ah, I am heavy now and patient, 

Moving as the dumb, tamed animals move, ploddingly, 

Burdened, burdened; 

Knowing ahead of me the iron pain yet am I dumb and 


A stillness is thick and heavy upon me ... 
Waiting . . . 

Inevitably you unfold within me. 
Sudden I am smitten with terror 
How shall I carry the burden of a soul ! 


My nerves are riding a race-horse. 

I shall storm, storm through the gates of pain, I shall win 


Huzzah, I am coming! 
I shall shatter the gates of pain, 
I shall go hurtling through pain! 
I am riding, riding. . . . 


They have me again in the birth-room, 
Where all night long I lay in a rhythm of agony, 
Horrible hell-rhythm of birth-giving! 
Pain . . . 


Florence Kiper Frank 

A gasping cessation 

How I loathe the white nurses! 

Yet they too are women, 

They too ... are women . . . 

I should be sorry ... for women. . . 


There is a single white, sweet star in the sky. 
It is afloat in illimitable peace. 
I have achieved it, I have set it in the sky 
My baby! 


Little tugger, 

Little drawer of milk, 

Feeding from me as your life drew through mine in the 


What flows again from you to me, seeker? 
Currents are about us ... 
Do you think it you tugging, 
My breast that is being tugged! 
Ah, little beloved, 
We do not know rightly 
In what stream we are drifting! 

Florence Kiper Frank 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

You are my silent laughter; 

You are my unshed tears; 
You are the elfin wonder 

Of my ecstasy and fears. 

You are my heart that dances; 

You are my soul that leaps. 
You have hidden the key of the lonely room 

Where my troubled spirit sleeps. 


Dear changeling, how I love your smile! 

Fleet as a timid fawn 
It breaks upon me suddenly 

And with a flash is gone. 

It's hardly like a smile at all, 

More like a blinding light 
That darts across the starless sky 

A fire-fly of the night. 

Florence K. Mixter 




At the edge of a beautiful gulf of gloom and stillness 

The city rises 

Glittering with millions of spangles 

Seen between the dull smoke of the trains, 

That struggle and tug laboriously 

And bump empty freight-cars into each other 

With a noise like surf collapsing. 

Beyond there is windy darkness 

One or two lights low down 

Seemingly blurred by mist, 

And waterish stars; 

For the wind is bringing rain 

To stream down the spangled faces, 

And make the light-terraces melt together 

Growing more dim. 

But the engines cough and call; 
One or two lights in the silence 
Watch the night shutting slowly down dark doors on the 


Behind her spangled mask 
She frowns a little, standing more weary, 
But still casting out on the darkness 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Her glory, where winds will whirl it 
Through dry splinters of grass on the dunes 


Pylon for some incomplete gateway 

Through which the high priests of the sun 

Might blow their trumpets in the morning, 

Strong red and yellow buttress, 

What breed of desert dwellers 

Left you here in the midst of the city, 

To mock with your severity 

The gaudy frippery of more bright facades, 

To smolder like a polished block 

Of dark Egyptian stone? 


The facades glower bleakly, 
Each one a successive fiat. 

They oppose with unwearied sombreness 
The greenish light of the sky. 

They extend themselves frontally : 
Immense stubborn cliffs of fatality, 
Motionless summits of denial, 
Striving with silent ambition 
To crush the last glimmer out. 


John Gould Fletcher 

People go hastily beneath them with embittered glances. 

They do not heed the throng, 

They do not hesitate at all: 

Their treasuries are locked and barred behind triple-brazed 

armor of steel. 

They are an army in massive alignment: 
We are the trampled grass quivering beneath their feet. 


Queen Victoria's statue 

Was surrounded with geraniums, 

Red as the massive backs 

Of scarlet-coated grenadiers. 

Queen Victoria's statue 
Today is encircled 
With a flourishing crop 
Of early potatoes. 

Thus the world changes, 
And we change with it. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


You are not utterly desolate. 

War-tired soldiers. 

You lie down in the churned mud, 

Slaves in mud-colored garments. 

The storm passes over your heads ; 

When it is over, 

Whatever is left of you 

Will get up and make a new world. 

It is we who are desolate, 
We older people; 
Hearing the stale chatter 
On life, love, art, the war. 

We are the bitter ones 
Who cannot smile; 
For in our heart of hearts, 
We know we are dried specimens in the museum 
Of older things 
Dried specimens set under glass, 
Soon to be peered at curiously by searching alien 


John Gould Fletcher 


Let us never forget 

Joy has two faces: 

One soft and transient, 

Broken by the lightest shadow; 

Another one harder, 

Time-worn and wrinkled, 

Facing its pain, 

As if righting to get the last drop 

Out of the cup. 

Let us never forget 

Sometimes to shrug our shoulders. 

There is always this drift, 

Always this chaos, 

Always renewal. 

Let us remember 

That over this chaos 

There is sometimes moonlight, 

And sometimes dawn. 

John Gould Fletcher 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


THE Christmas of this year of grace will be the first 
of fifty-three to find the United States at war. 
Since the mournful Christmas of 1864 the last of Lincoln's 
first administration, the last he was to pass on earth Santa 
Glaus has had clean, white sledding for his pack of toys. 
No, I have not forgotten the Spanish-American flurry of 
war it began in April and was over the tenth of December : 
peace was the nation's gift from the cheery saint, with 
Porto Rico and the Philippines for its stocking. 

Now the gift we long for is victory, with the kaiser's 
crown for a bauble of price the kaiser's crown, to be 
tossed over the fence by the German people and set in a 
museum by the republics. If the world can not longer 
exist half slave and half free, how long must we labor and 
fight to free ourselves and the world, to free ourselves that 
we may be worthy and able to free the world? 

The arts must do what they can, not through preaching 
and propaganda that is not their function but through 
that freeing of the mind and lifting of the spirit which the 
perception of beauty brings. Thus do they spur men on 
to clear thought and keen action, to high and gallant en- 
deavor; and the records they keep the tale of the tribe 
they tell may become an immortal possession of glory. 
Through beauty alone can men be inspired the beauty 
of a command, an idea, a dream. Through the beauty of 


Christmas and War 

art alone can their deeds resist time's slander; they must 
be forgotten unless art records them in stone or bronze, in 
color, or in the beaten gold of words. 

The whole world is moved, as never before, to unities 
and enmities. War is now no isolated quarrel all nations 
are aflame. Will the artists feel the universal emotion, so 
that a spirit of fire will leap from mind to mind and 
kindle the new era? Faith moves mountains still will 
they believe in the new era, believe in their world? And 
will their world believe in them? will it catch their flame 
as it flies? 

Art must be powerful indeed, must be generous and devoted 
indeed, to match the prodigious energies now aroused. In 
the Scientific American for October ayth I read the epic 
of the motor truck which is to carry food and ammunition 
to our soldiers in France. Rival inventors, meeting in 
Washington, pooled their secrets, competing manufacturers 
pooled their plants; for all rivalries were forgotten, all com- 
petitions obliterated, in the common purpose to make the 
best possible machine for the nation's need. The new 
motor for airplanes represents a similar union of energies, 
a similar devotion of individual genius to a common cause; 
the greatest experts in this inventive nation, men formerly 
rivals, locking themselves together through days and nights 
for the solution of a difficult problem. 

Here we find men of science and business, men represent- 
ing the keenest commercialism of a so-called "materialistic" and country, all forgetting their battles and jealousies, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

forgetting profits, omitting from their plans both the ego 
and the dollar, thinking only of the best possible combina- 
tion of brains for the best possible product, uniting their 
powers for a result more powerful than any individual could 
possibly have attained. 

In the past the united arts have achieved results as won- 
derful; the Parthenon, the mediaeval cathedrals, the carved 
and painted churches of Italy, the Maya monuments of 
Yucatan, all represent an obliteration of rivalries, a union 
of individual energies, for the triumph of a common purpose. 
In these cases religion was the motive, or a combination of 
religion and patriotism; the motive becommg transfigured 
in the tribal mind to an ideal which only beauty could fitly 
serve. In the case of the truck and the motor we find, if 
not religion, a fundamental sense of brotherhood, of demo- 
cratic tribal unity, expressing itself, if not in beauty, in 
something scarcely less noble the fittest possible instrument 
of service. 

When the motives of artists become once more united and 
spiritualized by a common emotion beyond individual profit 
or glory, we shall have great art to vie with the art of the 
past. We shall have it because individual power, the power 
of genius, will be reinforced, incalculably multiplied, by 
the reactions of sympathy; because the men of vision, mag- 
ically stimulating each other, will create beauty beyond the 
dreams of any one of them. We shall have it because of 
the common will to eliminate waste the waste of futile 
effort, despair, thwarted desire, suicidal agonies of body and 


Christmas and War 

soul which strews the paths of art with human wreckage. 
We shall have it because of a mystic force in the human 
will, a force compelling even in the individual unit, a 
force multiplied beyond mere numbers in the group, and 
overwhelmingly irresistible when the tribal will is aroused. 

It is something like this that the Christmas of 1917 should 
bring to our poets and other artists, as they watch our young 
men going to war, or march along in the ranks. These boys 
in khaki, with complete simplicity and abandon, are giving 
themselves to a cause; by their union, by their courage and 
joy in it, they will make the cause irresistible. Do the 
men of vision feel a loosening of veils from their eyes, a 
falling of walls in their hearts, as they see the youth of the 
nation giving itself away? Do they see wider horizons, feel 
deeper loves? Do their spirits fuse together for heat and 
power in the great fire that is burning? Will they give 
us the miracle that they alone can give the beauty of the 
new era that must come when war has burned away the old ? 

H. M. 


A very real Negro Samson came "into my mind" as I 
read Mr. Vachel Lindsay's Negro Sermon in the birthday 
number of POETRY; for in my ears awoke the strains of an 
old plantation melody, Gawd's a-gwine t' move all de 
troubles away, whose verses tell of Samson with all the 
artless familiarity of the true folk-singer. And then Mr. 
Lindsay's use of the phrase, My Lord is riding high, vividly 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

recalled to me the triumphant Negro song, Ride on Jesus, 
which probably originated in a "shout," as they called those 
exuberant melodies composed in the ecstasy of "camp- 
meet'n," and was evidently inspired by the description of 
the Savior's entrance into Jerusalem, the hosannas, the 
palms, and Jesus riding on an ass. 

Both these "plantations," as the Negroes call the old slave- 
songs, I first heard through a colored man from St. Helena's 
Island, off the coast of South Carolina, where the population 
is almost wholly Negro and the language and music typically 
"black." Though the songs, being genuine folk-songs, are 
common property, I made a careful record of them, words 
and music, just as they are sung by ^Negroes in the South, 
and these will be published in a collection for the benefit 
of Hampton Institute in Virginia. Meanwhile it might 
perhaps interest those readers of POETRY who have been 
stirred by Mr. Lindsay's Sermon to meet in a purely literary 
form these two genuine Negro folk-poems. As the poems 
were really conceived by their creators as songs, and the 
music forms an absolutely integral part of the rhythmic 
values, I shall italicize the accented syllables as sung, so 
as to reproduce the typical Negro syncopation of the melody, 
which, to the song-maker's mind, was one with the verse. 
(Not, however, that eveny Negro in singing, would stress 
the song in exactly the same way, for th'e freedom of com- 
plete individualism is the inalienable right o^ every Negro 
bard!) Here is the first song: 

Gawd's a-gwine t' move all de troubles away, 
Gawd's a-gwine t' move all de troubles away, 


Again the Negro 

Fer Gawd's a-gwine t' move all de troubles away 
See*m no more till de cora-in' day! 

Now follow lines about Methusaleh and Nicodemus, and 
then the swiftly graphic verses devoted to Samson. 

All who are familiar with Negro folk-songs understand 
how subtly and delightfully the vowel a (pronounced ah of 
course), tacked on in front of a word or at the end of it, 
gives a needed stroke of emphasis, furnishes an introductory 
grace-note, or softens and binds in that fluency demanded 
by the Negro ear the sterner syllables of the English tongue. 
The graceful little word twill is a Negro beautification of 
our prosaic-sounding till. 

A read about Sam-son 

From his birth 
De stronges' man ev-er walked on earth! 

A read way back 

In de an-cient time 
He slew ten thou-sand Phil-/j-tine. 

A Samson he went 

A walkin' a-bout, 
A Sam-son's strength-a was never found out 

Twill his wife set down 

Upon his knee 

"An' a-tell me whar yo' strength-a lies ef you please !" 

A Samson's wife 

She done talk so fair 
A Samson tol' her, "Cut off-a ma hair 

If yo' shave ma hade 

Jes' as clean as yo' han' 
Ma strength-a will become-a like a natch-^r/ man ! 

For Gawd's a-gwine t' move all de troubles away" 

The effusion of Samson's confession to his "wife" is thor- 
oughly Negro in its enthusiasm. Not content with telling 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

her merely that his strength lies in his hair, he rapidly goes 
on to bid her shave his head. And as of course the tight- 
curling Negro hair can hardly be much cut without shaving, 
we can readily see that to the singer's mind Samson is indeed, 
as Mr. Lindsay states, a "Jack Johnson," a full blooded 
black Strong Man. 

The other song, Ride on, Jesus! is superb in the royal 
dignity and victory of its melody: 

O, Ride on, Jesus, 

Ride on, Jesus, 
Ride on conquerin' King! 

Want t' go t' hebb'n in de mo-'nin'. 

Ef yo' see ma 

Mud-der (Shouted by the solo singer.) 

(Oh yes!) (Shouted by the chorus.) 
Jes-a tell her 

Fo' me 

(Oh yes!) 

Fo' t* meet me tomorrow in GaYi-lee 
Want t' go t' hebb'n in de mo'n-'m I 

Then come endless verses appointing a like meeting to 
father, brother,' sister, deacon, preacher, et cetera. And next 
these glorious lines shouting a glad certainty of salvation, 
the services of John the Baptist being now unnecessary: 

Ef yo' see John 

D* "Baptist 

(Oh yes!) 
Jes-a tell him 

Fo' me 

(Oh yes!) 
Dat Ps bin to de ribber an' Ps bin baptize' ! 

Want t' go t' hebb'n in de mo'n-'ml" 

And at the last follows the sudden flash of imagery that 


Again the Negro 

so often proclaims the ingenuous Negro folk-singer a true 

Ef yo' wanter go t 1 hebb'n 

(Oh yes!) 
ril-a tell yo' how 

(Oh yes!) 

Jes' keep yo' ban's on de Gospel plow 
Want t* go t' hebb'n in de mo'-in'! 

Natalie Curtis 



Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, by Amy Lowell. 

Macmillan Co. 

It is a relief to have at last an absorbing book on the 
new movement in American poetry, a book by one who is 
in the movement and who is up to date in her point of 
view. Whether one agrees with Miss Lowell's opinions or 
not, no one can question her knowledge of the subject, and 
of the literature in English, French, and perhaps other lan- 
guages which forms the historic and immediate background 
of the subject. She is trained, she is competent; and being 
herself a poet of high repute in the movement, she is sym- 
pathetic with its manifestations. Indeed, her attitude is 
one of enthusiasm and confidence; sighs for the past and 
apologies for the present are now definitely relegated to the 
limbo of old fashions. 

But, competent and informed as Miss Lowell is, she has 
given us rather the book of a theorist than of a student 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

open-minded and open-eyed. Theories are dangerous in 
either art or life. The man of science accumulates thou- 
sands of facts before he ventures on a theory, and unless 
his theory stands the test of every fact then or thereafter 
presented it goes upon the scrap-heap. In the fluidities of 
art and life, however, this scientific precision is difficult. 
The facts lack definite outline each observer sees them 
differently. Conclusions thus tend to become merely the 
expression of an individual temperament or preference, and 
they are valuable according to the breadth and universality 
of the critic's intellectual horizon. 

Miss Lowell has tried to formulate and systematize a 
wide and rather disorderly literary democracy by a running 
comment on the lives and works of six poets who, in her 
opinion, concentrate and express its "movement." Others, 
she seems to say in her introduction, may be interesting, even 
admirable, but they are less typical, being either on the 
edge of the main current, or outside of it in little pools or 
eddies of their own. 

The book states the author's case but makes no effort to 
prove it. It is the opening argument of a law-suit, with 
the examination of six witnesses and the presentation of 
facts the narrative part of her case. But nowhere does 
she gather her facts together, round up and discuss all 
possible cross-examinations and opposing arguments, and 
complete her case with a convincing appeal. One feels that 
here is an author of firm conviction, strong will, and in- 
tense imaginative enthusiasm, who thinks that American 


Miss Lowell on Tendencies 

poetry either does, or ought to, follow a certain marked-off 
path ; and that any American poetry which does not conform 
is thereby outside "the movement." 

There is a curious familiarity in this attitude of mind. 
Miss Lowell is caught unaware by her Puritan inheritance 
we have once more orthodoxy and heresy, once more a 
laying-down of the law. But the trouble is, the law won't 
stay laid. 

What, for example, can be done with Vachel Lindsay? 
Miss Lowell tries to dispose of him in a sentence of the 
introduction as "rather popularizing the second stage of the 
movement" the stage of Masters and Sandburg "than 
heading a completely new tendency of his own." But, al- 
though no tendency whatever is completely new, Mr. 
Lindsay is no corollary of his Chicago confreres, and any 
discussion of American poetry which leaves him out is in 
danger of being discarded by the next age. If the thesis 
is not big enough to account for him, then the thesis has 
to be scrapped. Mr. Lindsay represents a tendency much 
richer and more indigenous than that personified by the 
imagists, for example, however fine and high theirs may be. 
His roots run deep into the past of American literature; 
Mark Twain and Riley and Brer-Rabbit Harris were his 
collateral relatives, and all the wild lore that is in our 
western blood our love of the wilderness, the folk-sense of 
magic in nature and life, the instinct of sympathy with all 
kinds and races of men all this is in Vachel Lindsay's 
tendency, and he carries a good share of the new movement 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

on his shoulders. And more or less in the same group with 
him march poets like Benet, Miss Wyatt, Dr. Gordon, Miss 
Skinner, and a troop of youngsters, each of whom is inspired 
by some particular local or racial group of our myriad- 
minded country. 

We will pass by the conservatives, the poets who conform, 
on the whole, to the elder tendencies, although any complete 
study of our subject would have to discuss and estimate 
values in the work of men and women like Arthur Ficke, 
Agnes Lee, Witter Bynner, Sara Teasdale and others. 

But in presenting the claim of the radicals, Miss Lowell 
can not justly confine it to four poets. Her study of these 
four is on the whole sympathetic, though I should question 
many details. Mr. Masters' work, for example, springs out 
of a social experience unusually rich, varied and profound. 
He knows whereof he speaks, and no one who knows no 
lawyer, doctor, man or woman of affairs, who has plunged 
to the deeps of modern society and who does not gloss over 
what he sees could call Spoon River "brutal," or say that 
its author "sees life through the medium of sex." And to 
us, who long ago noted the "flaming idealism" of this poet, 
it seems strange indeed to find Miss Lowell including him 
among the "professed realists" who "are apt to forget that 
idealism, a perception of beauty, an aspiration after fineness 
and nobleness, are also real." In the study of Carl Sand- 
burg there is less to criticize; in fact, this section and the 
one on Robert Frost are in my opinion the best of the 
book for I find Robinson somewhat overstressed. 


Miss Lowell on Tendencies 

The final chapter the one on the imagists, with H. D. 
and John Gould Fletcher as American exemplars we must 
again criticize as incomplete, considered as a study of 
present-day radical symbolism, to speak broadly, in this 
country. If Miss Lowell were not the author we might 
begin by objecting to the omission of her own name. If the 
imagists fairly represented the whole story, we might further 
specify Ezra Pound, whose work, whether always strictly 
bounded by the tenets of imagism or not, has been im- 
mensely fecund as Carl Sandburg pointed out long ago in 
POETRY and certainly represents a tendency. 

But the imagists are by no means the whole story. The 
delicate and whimsical art of Wallace Stevens, for example, 
art too individual to be listed under any school, is yet ex- 
tremely significant. The spiritual vision of Cloyd Head 
also represents more than a passing or personal phase. Nor 
can anyone safely omit the fascinating experiments in moods 
and rhythms of Alfred Kreymborg, T. S. Eliot, William 
Carlos Williams, Helen Hoyt and others. All these demand 
consideration as representing a tendency of which the ima- 
gists are only one element. 

The truth is that American poetry today is a rather large 
democracy. Mr. Stuart Walker, director of the adventurous 
Portmanteau Theatre, gives a lecture entitled Every Little 
Theatre has a Movement all its Own. So in the poetic 
movement also it is unsafe to select special groups, and set 
metes and bounds, for every American poet has a move- 
ment all his own. One may recognize that a widespread 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

renaissance is certainly in process, one may study its multi- 
form manifestations, but whither it is leading us, and who 
will emerge as the leaders, it is much too early to say. 

Meantime we may welcome Miss Lowell's book as im- 
portant in the discussion. No one can fail to be thrilled by 
the six portraits it exhibits, records of singularly typical 
American lives : Robinson isolate, contemplative, sternly ob- 
servant; Frost the Yankee, "plastic and passive," wandering 
but always drawn back to his own place; Masters, son of 
the "middle border," richly impassioned in life as in art; 
Sandburg, the northern offshoot powerful in growth, tender 
in bloom, under our bluer sky; H. D., shy and sensitive pil- 
grim of beauty; and John Gould Fletcher, American by in- 
born passion, cosmopolite by training and taste, a brooding 
and melancholy seer of visions. Could any six characters, 
six lives, be more representative than these of our far-flung 
nation of many bloods and creeds? 

Miss Lowell paints these portraits in vivid colors. If we 
think her book rather six portraits than a single complete 
composition, if we find its title too general for its content, 
it is at any rate a big gun for a certain point of view. 
The danger is that the public will think it covers the whole 
subject, will be too ready to accept it as final and authorita- 
tive. And to admit this danger is to admit the author's 
power and repute both as poet and critic. H. M. 


A Poet of the Present 


These Times, by Louis Untermeyer. Henry Holt & Co. 

In The Atlantic Monthly for October, Mr. O. W. 
Firkins makes a plea for the closer union of poetry and life. 
He urges the necessity for variation in the one to conform 
to the irregular pace of the other. He deplores the constant, 
artificial mood of exaltation which had come to be a com- 
mon convention of verse before the flood of the recent poetic 
renaissance swept away the dikes of false sentiment 'and 
the dams of hyperbolic diction. That Mr. Firkins refuses 
to see the beginnings of just such a change in the "new 
poetry," is merely to state that Mr. Firkins is a conservative 
and an academe. The Biblical camel confronted with the 
eye of the needle is no more at a loss than are the English 
Departments of our colleges placed face to face with the 
work of living men. After all, why should we quarrel with 
such an attitude? It is the business of a college to teach the 
past; it is the business of the collegians to create the future. 
But that the conservatives admit that a change was needed is 
more than encouraging; it is extraordinary. Let us be glad, 
my brothers, that we are not yet dead and mummified into 
"prescribed reading." Let us be glad that we are still lusty 
with splendid thoughts of beauty and revolt, and that nobody 
has yet cursed us for keeping him from a football game. 

Still, Mr. Firkins is right in demanding a brisker, more 
robust, expression for contemporary American life. These 
times are not the England of the mid-nineteenth century. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

These times are largely what Louis Untermeyer says they 
are in his book which bears this exceedingly happy title. 

In Challenge, Mr. Untermeyer was the youth flashing 
against this and that fact of daily life, parrying, thrusting, 
rollicking, and following a banner partially obscured in 
clouds of chimney smoke. His reactions were fine and 
adolescent, he shouted old songs and infused into them his 
own fresh, irresponsible meaning. Challenge was a book of 
promise, but not a book of achievement. 

The important thing about These Times is that the 
poet has not abandoned his wondering delight at life. There 
is knowledge, but no disillusion. There is less kicking up of 
heels in a patch of sunlight, but the satisfaction with the 
sun remains. The whole has taken on a wider sweep. Mr. 
Untermeyer sees things in a less isolated manner, more in 
the whole, as it were. There is the same tilting at abuses, 
but the tilting is aimed, not at the outgrowth as before, but 
at the roots. There is less sentimentality and more senti- 
ment. Altogether, the book has a greater seriousness than 
Challenge, and is consequently more emotional and com- 

In my book, Tendencies in Modern American Poetry, I 
have endeavored to show that the present poetical revolt has 
three distinct phases. That its beginning is a vague unrest, 
perhaps only partially understood even by the men who 
labor under it ; that the second phase is conscious revolution, 
a desire for change and reform, a change and reform largely 
taking shape in concrete suggestions; action wins over con 


A Poet of the Present 

templation, and violence for the time (drowns out the lyric 
impulse. The third phase is that of accomplished evolution, 
even though the evolution be but at the very beginning of 
its term. The result is leisure and a cessation of internal 
conflict, leaving the mind of the poet free once more to 
receive the impressions of external beauty. 

I refer to this idea here merely to place Mr. Untermeyer 
in his niche in the present movement in which he is a potent 
factor. He belongs to the second of these phases, the revolu- 
tionary one; but, unlike so many of the men who compose 
this second phase, he has reached it through sympathy rather 
than through conflict. He has had no cramping Puritanic 
ideals to combat; he has not been forced to fight his sur- 
roundings, but has been blown along with them. For this 
reason we see in him a different trend from that of Mr. 
Masters, for instance, or Mr. Sandburg. Mr. Masters is 
steeped in bitterness; Mr. Sandburg is only partially freed 
from the matrix of dumbness which bound his ancestors. 
He is like a sculptured figure escaping from its granite mesh, 
here an arm is free, there a foot, but at a little distance there 
is just a huge, ungainly block of marble. Mr. Untermeyer 
is no wholesome unpalatable draught ; he is no granite pillar, 
shapeless, but full of potentialities. Rather is he like a song 
of Schumann drifting down an empty street, a sudden hymn 
sung by soldiers after a victory. For Mr. Untermeyer sings 
of defeat, and yet every pulse of his beats victory. 

There is a simple answer to this difference. Mr. Unter- 
meyer is a Jew, and in thinking of the Jews one should 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

never forget Matthew Arnold's illuminating epigram: "The 
Jewish race has a flair for religion." This flair for religion 
is in all that Mr. Untermeyer writes. We see the same 
thing more obviously expressed in the work of another 
Jewish poet James Oppenheim. 

It makes no difference whether Mr. Untermeyer is a 
professing Jew or not, the flair is here. Much of his poetry 
reminds one of the ritualistic dances of the Old Testament. 
There are pipes and timbrels in plenty, but they are played 
with the ecstasy of dedjcation. It is not Mr; Untermeyer's 
sociological bias which stirred the students of Columbia and 
Barnard to name their little paper after his book, Challenge, 
although they may think that this was the reason; it is the 
compelling force of religious enthusiasm which shouts from 
its pages. And it is just this religious fire whch makes 
These Times such an important contribution to the poetry 
of to-day. 

Every man has a religion, no one can live without, and 
it is of no moment under what symbol it presents itself. 
But those few in every generation whose religion is at once 
militant, joyful, and sustaining, become leaders in thought 
and action. 

It is true that Mr. Untermeyer's technique lags behind 
his impulse. But the impulse is so sincere and masterful 
that it carries the poems forward on an engulfing wave. 
No matter what the subject lyric, drama, satire we feel 
behind it the man, standing bareheaded and exultant before 
the tables of stone. In Eve Speaks and Moses on Sinai, we 
have ttfe most absolute examples of this attitude, and it is 


A Poet of the Present 

a characteristic of this impassioned devotion that these poems 
are all intermingled with everyday thoughts and actions. 
Eve's fall was no mere following the line of least xesistance ; 
it was a conscious act to rid Adam of a life of thoughtless 
ease, to gird him for a battle and fling him into its midst. 
Life is a battle, again and again Mr. Untermeyer affirms 
it, and the will to fight for the cause is a glorious possession. 
Moses on Sinai again strips off symbol to reveal fact, and 
in so doing but rears a greater symbol. A Pantheist? Per- 
haps; but what is Pantheism but a symbol! Mr. Unter- 
meyer admits the universe; and, admitting it, worships, 
beyond it, the unknowable. 

This is a modern attitude. Science is no more the 
negative of religion, but its ally. Science takes us step by 
step to truth; that it has not yet reached the final truth is 
nothing. Dare we say it will? And if it does? Is a great 
man less great because we know him? Will truth be less 
appalling when it is entirely revealed? Mr. Untermeyer sees 
life starkly and honestly, and still worships. So should we 
all if we could free ourselves of shibboleths. In The Dead 
Horse, the poet shows us a fact, disagreeable to the eye of 
convention, of an awe-inspiring magnificence to the eye of 
science, of a supreme beauty to the eye of religion. For 
The Dead Horse is a parable of the perpetual resurrection 
of life. 

Lovers shows this same fearless facing of facts. Love is 
not enough ; it is never enough. To Mr. Untermeyer, love 
is the healer and fortifier, but the battle must be faced. Love 
gives power, and the fight is resumed. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

It is this belief in life which makes real war seem so 
hideous. The Battle-Cries section is all a protest against 
the waste of war. The very militance and courage which 
goes willingly into the war for ideas, holds aloof from a 
carqage in which the idea is for the moment lost sight of. 
This is from no lack of personal courage, but from the 
conviction that thought is more potent than fact, which it is ; 
but all men are not thinkers, and, to such, facts alone speak. 
Also, Mr. Untermeyer's sociological bias urges him to con- 
serve men, and he loses sight of the fact that it is not any 
men which it is important to conserve, but such men as can 
advance the race. War is an ordeal by fire out of which 
must come purification. 

I think The Laughers is the finest poem in the book. The 
progression from the light, happy laughter of Spring to the 
hideous realities of war, to the "laughter of ghouls" who 
find men so little advanced that they need such an ordeal, 
is really tremendous. This is one of the strongest poems 
which the present war has produced. 

The Victory of the Beet-fields is another war poem the 
power of which is not to be denied, and in it is a lyric note 
which is one of Mr. Untermeyer's most characteristic quali- 
ties. For the poet is not merely a strong and virile thinker, 
he is an artist and a singer as well, although I think his 
lyricism is more effective where he uses it to point his serious 
pieces than when it is the main purport of the poem. In 
his more obvious lyrics there is a too reminiscent quality, a 
tendency to employ the stamped and usual, which seriously 


A Poet of the Present 

injures them; they are not sufficiently pointed, not sharp 
enough. For instance, in Bacchanal, death is a "giddy preci- 
pice," life "a brimming goblet," and the poet even permits 
himself to "quaff the fiery Spring." It is such expressions 
as these which cause that lagging of technique which I have 
mentioned. And this is strange, as in and Other Poets, 
Mr. Untermeyer showed a rare mastery over words and 
manners. The truth would seem to be that his taste leans 
ever so slightly to the Teutonic vice of sentimentality, that 
schwdrmerei from which Heine saved himself by a fine irony. 
Not that Mr. Untermeyer is devoid of irony. It is the 
chief ingredient of many of his Thirteen Portraits, but it 
deserts him in his songs, and is not even present in the slight 
form of a corrective. It is when the articulate bones of a 
strong, serious subject decline to be obscured that we see 
Mr. Untermeyer producing a poem at once lyric and firm. 
Immortal illustrates what I mean, and might be placed as 
a motto before all Mr. Untermeyer's work. 

I wish I had space to comment on those excellent poems: 
Swimmers, On the Palisades, Still Life a beautiful little 
genre piece, and Victories. Mr. Untermeyer's love of nature 
is no whit behind his love of humanity, and he possesses to 
a marked extent that sine qua nori of the true poet: the 
seeing of romance in the full expression of life, in its sordid 
elements no less than in its most exalted. The Portrait of 
a Jewelry Drummer is a splendid rebuke to the blind, and 
its light satiric touch but heightens the sense of beauty and 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

From squalid realism on the one hand, from nebulous 
aestheticism on the other, These Times is happily free, and 
if Mr. Untermeyer pursues the path he has so fearlessly 
chosen, we need not doubt that his next book will be a 
still further advance. Amy Lowell 


Roads and What is Your Legion? By Grace Fallow Norton. 

Houghton Mifflin Co. 

Among the poems in the first of these volumes one comes 
on strange and fragrant verse like this : 

If my mother knew 
How our doves at dawn 
Shake me with their wings, 
Wild, bewildered, wan, 
When the white star sings, 
And they would be gone. 

One poem especially, In a Green Place, makes an intriguing 
pattern : 

In a green place, 

A vine-twined green place, 

Where I wished to lie sweetly dreaming and sleeping, 

Adhere I wished to wake laughing and leaping, 

In a green place, 

A tree-guarded green place, 

I saw a little girl in a black dress weeping. 

A number of other poems too one must credit with a 
richness of sound, alluring like some glamorous fabric on a 
bargain counter. To read the whole volume, however, is 
to be surfeited with windiness of thought, phrase and 
rhythm; with a kind of "gladness," coarsely sentimental in 


Song and Propaganda 

texture. It seems a pity that more writers have not the 
instinct to publish only the piquant fragments of their work ; 
their art then might at least appear to be more complete. 

What Is Your Legion? is propaganda rather than poetry 
written before this country had entered the war, to rouse 
America from its indifference. It rings with sentiments 
usually called "fine" or "noble," the way a busy street-car 
rings with its fares. It testifies, I think, to the elusiveness 
of the arts, to the futility of trying to mobilize them or 
volunteer their service for any unintrinsic purpose. 

In this, to veer slightly from Miss Norton, in whose work 
at least shines the zeal of the volunteer, there is a moral 
for societies like the Vigilantes who would offer their god- 
dess to war as a kind of advertising girl. Very swiftly she 
evades them, and leaves them to perpetrate atrocities alone 
paintings that shriek through an acre of brazen paint and 
impotent line for men to go to war, and poems too often 
empty and blatant. 

Work like this they should leave frankly to the com 
mercial craftsman, realizing that no fine art will ever result 
because some artist has "come across" or been drafted in ; 
that the great poem, for example, will speak of war only 
because the poet has wanted to, having loved or hated it, 
or caught some passionate glimpse of it; and that perhaps 
he will not speak of it at all. Abandoning the idea of a 
liaison between art and war, such a society could then turn 
rather toward making possible the integrity of the artist in 
time of war. Conservation being the fashion, should it not 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

extend beyond material food if we believe that, when 
peace comes, men cannot live by bread alone? 

Or, would this be an impractical and over-provident meas- 
ure the policy of the idealist? Doubtless there is no wind 
so evil as to blow nobody good. In the war-ridden countries, 
one hears, already the ceremony of marriage is becoming 
somewhat irrelevant. This perhaps is the glorious day of 
the prostitute in art as well as in life. Admitting this pos- 
sibility, at least one enjoys a glimmer of the truth and its 
attendant freedom. Dorothy Dudley 



Dear POETRY: There are many who, like myself, have 
liked your editorials in POETRY and who agree with your 
attitude towards the artificial and stilted style of certain 
academic verse. But your remarks on Emerson in the Sep- 
tember number, while extremely novel, do not impress us as 
quite just to the ideas of the great sage. 

During a twenty years' exploration of his Templa Serena 
I have found that before his essays were published they were 
trimmed and shorn made safe for New-England democ- 
racy. "I mixed them with a little Boston water, so they 
would sell in New York and London:" these are his own 
words. And if the English Traits were re-written accord- 
ing to Emerson's true opinion as expressed in his journals, 
what splendid shadows would offset the present high lights 


About Emerson 

of that book! And what of Emerson's Poet is he really a 
"grand inaccessible figure"? Let the master speak for him- 

"The poet is least a poet when he sits crowned." (Journal, 
vol. 7, p. 198.) "Out upon scholars with their pale sickly 
indoor thoughts!" (Journal, vol. 8, p. 532) and so on 
through ten fascinating volumes. Even the cubists are an- 
ticipated. He flung his mental doors and windows open to 
infinite possibilities when he said: "Think how many more 
eggs remain to be hatched!" Emerson's idea of a poet is 
a loving genius who scorns dignity, laurels, authorities and 
rhymes in order, as he says, "to straddle that wild horse, 
the people." 

From Concord, on July 2ist, 1885, he wrote a memorable 
letter to Whitman, quoted by J. A. Symonds in his study 
of Whitman. What more could you wish? And when we 
remember that even Nietzsche, that supreme iconoclast, 
bowed in reverence before Emerson long after he had turned 
away from Schopenhauer's "funereal perfume," must we not 
be careful before we attempt to interpret so deep a thinker? 

Ernest Nelson 

Note by the Editor: Our correspondent mentions the chief cause 
for criticism of Emerson that he did not stick to his colors. A 
"great sage" should either speak the truth or be silent he should 
not mix the truth with "a little Boston water" to please his pub- 
lishers and public. 

The same spirit of compromise affected his attitude toward Whit- 
man. It is true that he wrote Whitman a "memorable letter" prais- 
ing the Leaves of Grass. But afterwards, when the hue and cry 
was raised, did he not retract? did not his later remarks differ 
materially from this first letter? 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


The American correspondent of the Mercure de France 
writes us apropos of the recent semi-centennial of the death 
of Charles Baudelaire: 

Perhaps it is not too late to send you two or three items concern- 
ing this literary event which has attracted wide attention in France. 

Of the several new editions of Les Fleurs du Mai which have 
appeared in Paris during the past year, that issued by M. Robert 
Helleu, the well-known art printer and publisher, seems to me the 
most attractive in every respect. It contains a short introduction 
by M. Andre Gide, one of the best Baudelaire authorities in France, 
and includes three striking portraits of the poet, one of which was 
drawn by Baudelaire himself. 

M. Helleu says: "In the midst of our more serious troubles, the 
semi-centennial of the death of Baudelaire is an event which has 
stirred up considerable heated discussion. Never have the signifi- 
cance and the influence of this poet been so preponderant as today. 
Like all true artists, Baudelaire is loved warmly or not understood; 
a middle course, which some are trying to follow, is difficult to hold. 
In the presence of such a perfect work of art as Les Fleurs du Mai, 
which has been before the public for over a half-century, one must 
admire it or condemn it. Two opposing systems of aesthetics stand 
face to face, and those who have labored not to make a choice 
between them have made a choice in spite of themselves. Even 
the journalistic polemics which this anniversary have given rise to, 
show in themselves how alive today is the aristocratic figure of this 
admirable singer." 

On September 3oth the Souvenir Lttteraire, a Paris association of 
men of letters, whose raison d'etre is the celebration of literary 
events, commemorated Baudelaire. The poet, M. Robert Lestrange, 
who was one of the organizers of the ceremony, writes me in this 
connection : "As it is impossible to fete the author of Les Fleurs 
du Mai without also feting Edgar Poe, whose works he translated 
in such a masterly way, the occasion united in the same tribute of 
admiration the two great writers." Theodore Stanton 




Mr. Wallace Stevens, a New York lawyer, now living in Hartford, 
Conn., is well known to our readers. In July, 1916, his play, Three 
Travellers Watch a Sunrise, received POETRY'S prize of one hundred 
dollars in a one-act poetic play contest which brought in nearly one 
hundred plays. The monologue now published was presented, 
during the autumn of this year, by the Wisconsin Players, with Mrs. 
Laura Sherry as director, first in Milwaukee and later in New York. 
Though its rhythms are those of poetic prose rather than of free or 
metrical verse, we think our readers will agree that it is not out of 
place in POETRY. 

Mr. John Gould Fletcher, now resident in London, is also an early 
contributor and a prize-winner of a year ago. 

Mrs. Grace Hazard Conkling, of Northampton, Mass., author of 
Afternoons of April (Hough ton Mifflin Co.), appeared in the first 
number of POETRY. Also Miss Helen Dudley, of Chicago, who is 
now serving her country abroad. Dorothy Dudley (Mrs. Henry B. 
Harvey), is a later contributor. Florence Kiper Frank (Mrs. Jerome 
N.), of Chicago, author of The Jew to Jesus and Other Poems 
(Houghton Mifflin Co.), and Mr. Clement Wood, of New York, are 
also familiar to our readers. 

O^ the poets now presented for the first time: Florence K. Mixter 
(Mrs. George W.), of Moline, 111., but resident this winter in Wash- 
ington, has published little as yet; ditto Mr. Earl Marlatt, a young 
journalist of Kenosha, Wis. ; and Mr. Louis Grudin of New York. 

Poets on our "accepted" list, and one or two friends besides, have 
sent to POETRY, for the Poets' Ambulances in Italy Fund, $322.50. If 
any others desire to express thus their gratitude to the beautiful 
country of great art and boundless hospitality, we shall be very glad 
to receive and forward their contributions. 


To the Lost Friend A Sonnet Sequence from the French of Auguste 
Angellier, translated by Mildred J. Knight and Chas. R. Murphy. 
John Lane Co. 

The Closed Door, by Jean de Bosschere, illustrated by the Author ; 
with a Translation by F. S. Flint and Introduction by May Sin- 
clair. John Lane. 

There Is No Death: Poems by Richard Dennys, with Foreword by 
Desmond Coke. John Lane. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The Runes of Virginia the Vala, by Mary Virginia del Castillo. 

Christopher Pub. House, Boston. 
Boyhood Dreams, by Joe Lee Davis. Privately printed, Lexington, 

Weights and Measures, by Franklin P^ Adams. Doubleday, Page 

Sc Co. 
In Stratford and the Plays Sonnets on Shakespere, by Herbert 

Spencer Fiske. Stratford Co. 
dcross the Years, Translations from the Latin Poets, by Chas. Ernest 

Bennett. Stratford Co. 
Reverie A Little Book of Poems for H. D., by Richard Aldington. 

Clerk's Press, Cleveland, O. 

Mandragora, Poems by John Cowper Powys. G. Arnold Shaw. 
First Offering a Book of Sonnets and Lyrics, by Samuel Roth. Lyric 

Pub. Co., New York. 
Prufrock and Other Observations, by T. S. Eliot. The Egoist Ltd., 

The Star Fields and other Poems, by Willoughby Weaving, with 

Introduction by Robert Bridges. B. H. Blackwell, Oxford, Eng. 
Western Waters and other Poems, by Elizabeth Sewell Hill. The 

Roadside Press, Chicago. 
Early Days on the Western Range, by C. C. Walsh. Sherman, 

French & Co. 
In Divers Tones, Lyrics by Clarence Watt Heazlitt. Sherman, 

French & Co. 
The Wind in the Corn and Other Poems, by Edith Franklin Wyatt 

D. Apppleton & Co. 
Verses of Idle Hours, by O. Chester Brodhay. Frederick C. Browne, 

,1/y Ship and Other Verses, by Edmund Leamy, with Foreword by 

Katherine Tynan. John Lane Co. 
Songs of Gladness and Growth, by James L. Hughes. Privately 

printed, Toronto. 

"Chester," by James L. Hughes. Privately printed, Toronto. 
Beggar and King, by Richard Butler Glaenzer. Yale Univ. Press, 

New Haven. 
The Little Flag on Main Street, by McLandburg Wilson. Macmil- 

lan Co. 
// / Could Fly Stories in Free Verse for Children, by Rose Strong 

Hubbell, with Illustrations by Harold Gaze. G. P. Putnam's 

Sonnets from the Crimea, by Adam Mickiewicz, Translated by Edna 

Worthley Underwood. Paul Elder & Co., San Francisco. 


No. IV 
A Magazine of Vferse 

JANUARY, 1918 


YES, indeed, Sir, 
'Tis pretty up here this time o' year, 
With the sumachs and the maples fer red, 
And the birches and the oaks fer yaller, 
Sometimes you'd think the sun was shinin' 
When 'taint nothin' but leaves. 
Ef you was to go up Tollman's hill, 
You'd see the country layin' out in front o' yer 
Jest like a big flower garden. 
I don't wonder city folks is so partial to the mountains in the 


But they don't all care enough fer it 
To come a-ridin' shanks's mare 
The way you're doin'. 
What was it you wanted I should tell yer ? 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Oh, yes, 'bout the brick house over on the Danbridge road. 

I know well the one you mean. 

Sort o' tumble down, ain't it? 

Run to seed ? 

That's the one. 

The old Steele farm we call it. 

It's in a dretful state. 

The last folks had it was a^ pack o' Finns, 

And I never see such a shiftless set as they be. 

Don't seem to have no idea o' nothin'. 

But the way they can grub a livin' outer stones 

Do beat all. 

There's a whole lot on 'em settled around here, 

But I guess they wouldn't ha' got aholt o' the Steele place 

Only fer it havin' a kind o' bad name. 

Sort o' got set in a streak o' cross luck, somehow. 

You hitch your chair up clost t' th' fire, 

And I'll tell yer 'bout it. 

It's a funny story, 

And it ain't so funny neither, 

Come to think of it. 

I remember Tim 'thy Adams well 

When I was a girl. 

He was innercent and feeble enough by then. 

My father's told me the story often, 

But it all happened long 'fore my day; 

It must ha' been nigh on to eighty year ago. 

Ther was two brothers livin' over to Danbridge at that time, 


Amy Lowell 

Name of Steele, 

George and Clif Steele. 

Between 'em, they owned that farm you seen, 

And a hardware store to Main Street. 

My father used ter say 

Nobody hereabouts thought they could cut a rakeful o' hay 

Or split a log, 

Onless they'd bought the scythe, or the saw, or the sickle, 

To Steele's. 

Funny name for a hardware store, warn't it, 

But them things does happen. 

Well, es I said, 

They owned the store and the farm, 'tween 'em, 

Old Steele left it that way. 

But 'twas real onhandy, 

And, nat'rally, they kep a-treadin' on each other's toes. 

So 'bout the time I'm speakin' of, 

They made up ther minds to do the splittin' therselves, 

And they'd fixed it up that George was to have the store 

And Clif was to take the farm. 

Clif warn't more'n five and twenty, then, 

And he warn't married, 

And he seen, well as another, 

That a farm without a wife's a mighty ticklish thing. 

So he told his brother 

He'd look around a bit, 

And when he found a likely woman, 

He'd marry her, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

And settle right away. 

I guess he warn't quite square 'bout the lookin' around, 

'Cause everyone knowed he'd be'n keepin' comp'ny 

Fer some time. 

Mirandy Eccles, 'twas; 

And Father al'ays said she was a fine, sensible girl, 

And a credit to the man that chose her. 

Clif used ter take her buggy-ridin' 

With a fast sorrel mare he had, 

Done two-thirty or somethin' 

Over to the County Fair. 

Clif was proud as punch of her, and of the girl too. 

Father said the whole street 'ud set up to look 

When they two druv along it 

Like a streak o' lightnin'. 

Clif thought his courtin' was goin' elegant, 

And I guess 'twas, 

When all of a suddint, 

He was drawed for jury duty. 

That put a stop to the junketin's, 

And Clif was like a bear with a sore head. 

'Twas a kind of a queer case. 

A man called Tim'thy Adams was bein' tried 

Fer 'saulting his employer and stealin' four dimonds. 

I don't rec'lect the name o' the man whose store 'twas, 

But he was a jeweler and watchmaker, 

The only one ther was to Danbridge. 

One mornin' they found him most beat to a jelly, 


Amy Lowell 

And bound and gagged, 

And four big dimonds was missin' outer th' stock. 

Ther was a candle in the store 

Guttered to nothin', 

And Mrs. the storekeeper's wife 

Said when she last seed it, 

Jest as she was goin' to bed, 

It was good and long, 

And would ha' burned a couple o' hours, anyway. 

Tim'thy used to come mornin's and open up the store. 

He had a key, 

And that was the only other one ther was, 

So suspicion fastened on him, good and tight. 

He said he hadn't be'n ther at all 

Sence closin' time, 

That he'd be'n fer a walk up the mountain. 

But he hadn't be'n gunnin', 

'Cause he didn't take no gun; 

And he hadn't be'n fishin', 

'Cause he didn't take no pole; 

And nobody b'lieved a man 'ud go walkin' up the mountain 

Jest fer the pleasure o' gittin' ther, 

So it looked bad fer Tim'thy. 

Clif set in that court-room, 

And twiddled his fingers, 

And thought o' Mirandy, 

And never heerd so much as a haystraw o' th' evidence ; 

And when lockin'-up time come 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

He didn't know n6 more about the case 

Than the town pump. 

In them days, 

Juries was locked up for fair. 

They didn't 'low 'em home nights, 

And they sent their meals in, 

'Stead o' marchin' 'em out to a hotel. 

Clif had got awful sick o' bein' ther. 

He'd cut his name on the table in the jury room 

Till 'twas all pickled over with it, 

(I've seed the table, with the name on, myself). 

And the night after the ev'dence was in 

Ther was a dance to the Town Hall, 

And Clif wanted like pisen to be ther. 

He set in that jury room, 

Hackin' at the table, 

Till he couldn't stand it another minit ; 

Then he jumped outer th' winder. 

And shinned down a big elm-tree was outside, 

And went to the party, 

And the first person he run acrost when he got inter th' room 

Was the Judge! 

That was a awful fix fer Clif, 

But the Judge had be'n young once, 

And he jest turned his back and never seed a thing. 

Clif didn't waste no time. 

He went straight up to Mirandy and asked her to marry him, 

And she'd missed him so 


Amy Lowell 

She said "yes" right out, 

And Clif went back, and shinned up the elm agin, 

And ther he was, spick and span, 

When the door was unlocked next mornin' ! 

But he hadn't voted on the case, 

And the foreman jest whispered to him, would he agree, 

As they went inter court. 

Clif was in such good sperrits, 

He'd ha' agreed to anythin', 

So he jest nodded, 

And poor Tim'thy Adams was convicted o' 'sault and batt'ry, 

With steal in', 

And sent to States Prison fer twenty year. 

I told you 'twas a queer story, 

But it's a heap queerer than you've heard yit. 

Clif married Mirandy, 

And they went to live to the farm. 

They was a well matched pair. 

And everythin' went as fine as roses in July, 

'Cept they didn't have no children. 

But after it had all be'n goin' on like that fer most fifteen 


Somethin' turned Clif's mind back to that old jury case. 
Bits o' things he'd heerd in the court-room 
Kep a risin' up in his mind. 
They must ha' be'n ther all the time, 
But he'd never sensed 'em ; 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

And now they up and slapped him in the face. 

The more he thought, the more he felt 

That Tim'thy couldn't ha' done it. 

He was a bit of a dreamer himself, 

And he knowed a man could go up a mountain, 

'Ithout hankerin' to shoot or fish. 

He thought and thought, Clif did, 

Till he was so nervous and jumpy 

He was all of a twitch from head to foot. 

Then one day he druv over to Danbridge 

To see Judge Proctor. 

The Judge was a old man, and retired, 

But Clif thought it 'ud ease him some 

To see him. 

He told the Judge all about it, 

But the Judge said 'twas past and gone, 

And he'd better lay some of his fields down to red rye, 

And try replantin' his wood-lot. 

But Clif didn't buy no red rye seed that day ; 

He went straight to the lib'ry 

And read a lot o' old newspapers. 

Then he ferreted out the court clerk, 

And fussed and fussed, 

Till he let him see the records. 

He druv back and forth to Danbridge for weeks, 

Readin' all the papers 'bout that trial. 

And the more he read 'em, the more he knowed 

Tim'thy hadn't had no head nor hand to do with it. 


Amy Lowell 

Clif was most beside himself with worry, 

And no wonder, 

He felt he'd sent a feller critter to States Prison 

Who didn't b'long ther no more'n he did hisself. 

He act'ally got to f eelin' he was the one b'longed ; 

He'd committed a wicked crime, 

And he'd got t' expiate it. 

I guess he was most mad ; 

Father often s^id so. 

He was thin as a rail, 

And he couldn't eat nor sleep, 

And the farm all went to smithereens 

'Cause he hadn't no time to work it, 

For readin' ev'dence. 

He didn't know much law, 

And it 'curred to him, 

That ef he got all the jury that done the convictin' 

To change ther minds, 

That would stop the sentence right where 'twas, 

And Tim'thy could walk out o' jail. 

So the poor lunatic started to git aholt o' the jury. 

Twarn't no easy matter to do, 

Fer some was moved away, and some was dead ; 

But he wrote, and he travelled, 

And he run here and ther like a hen 'ithout its head, 

And, in the end, he got all the livin' members o' that jury 

To sign papers reversin' ther decision. 

Is that very remarkable, Sir? 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

P'raps you're right. 

Anyhow, he done it. 

When he'd got all the papers 

He went back to Judge Proctor, 

And asked him, would he please arrange things 

So Tim'thy'd be free. 

O' course, the Judge told him 'twarn't no manner o' use. 

That all the papers in the world wouldn't git Tim'thy out, 

Onless ther was new ev'dence, 

Which, don't you see, ther warn't, 

Not a scrap. 

So Clif went home, all broke to bits, 

And put his papers in the chimbly cupboard, 

And Mirandy had all she could do 

To git a little bacon and coffee down him. 

It's al'ays the women gits it in the end, you know, Sir? 

Well, byme-bye it come time fer Tim'thy to be let out o' jail. 
He'd served his term, barrin' what was took off fer good 


The very day he stepped out o' prison, 
Standin' d'rectly in front o' the gate 
Wher he couldn't miss him, 
Was Clif Steele. 
Tim'thy was took all aback 
And made to git out o' th' way, 
But Clif up and hitched his arm inter his 
And marched him off, real brotherly. 


Amy Lowell 

"Tim'thy Adams," says Clif, 

"I done yer a great wrong. 

I know you never 'saulted nobody 

And never took no dimonds, 

And I come here to-day to make it up to yer best I can," he 


"Come to yer senses, have yer?" says Tim'thy. 
"Yes, I have," says Clif. 

"An' I'm goin' to take yer right along home with me." 
Mebbe Tim'thy wouldn't ha' gone, 
Only his sperrits was all squeezed to nothin' 
By bein' so long in. jail. 
Anyhow, Clif wouldn't hear no. 
And them two went home together 
Like a pair o' old shoes. 
Folks wondered, would Mirandy like it? 
All I c'n say is, ef she didn't, she darsn't say so. 
I guess she was some feared 'bout Clif's stayin' in his right 


Whatever was th' reason, she acted pleased as pie. 
So the three on 'em lived in the brick house, 
And after a little, nobody heeded 'em no more. 
But Clif was all played out; 
The worry'd done fer him, 
And two year come the next winter 
He died o' pneumony. 
Tim'thy and the widder 
Stuck it out fer a bit as they was. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

But tongues got to waggin' 

And they must ha' heerd 'em, 

Anyways, one fine day they up and got married, 

And that settled the talk fer keeps. 

Then the good times seemed come fer Tim'thy and Mirandy. 

They warn't young no more, but they was real well suited. 

Folks kind o' f ergot 'bout the jail, 

And Mirandy took a new lease o' life. 

Why, the kitchin winders was all jammed full o' flower-pots! 

You never seed sich rose-geraniums, 

Everybody wanted slips from 'em. 

I don't know jest how it come 'bout, 

But one way or 'tother, Tim'thy took to tinkerin' clocks 


He had a wonderful knack at makin' 'em go. 
Not the batteredest old clock es ever was, beat him. 
He'd set ther in that kitchin, 
Snuffin' up the smell o' them geraniums 
And foolin' with little wheels and wires, 
And all of a suddint he'd have the clock as good as new. 
Most everybody has a broken clock; 
Well, they brought 'em all to Tim'thy. 
The house was full on 'em. 

Now comes the queer part, 
And ther ain't no explainin' it, nohow. 
Many's the time I've heerd my father tell it, 
But I never give over startin' when I think of it. 


Amy Lowell 

One day Tim'thy was overhaulin' a fine wall clock, 

The kind with big weights hangin' down under it, 

When he give a cry, 

So loud Mirandy heerd it out in the clothes-yard. 

She come runnin' in 

With her heart in her mouth, 

And ther was Tim'thy, 

Starin' as though he seed a ghost, 

And holdin' four big dimonds in his hand. 

They was sparklin' like icicles on a south winder, 

All green, and blue, and red. 

Father seed 'em, 

And he said they was so bright 

You could most see to read by the flashin' they made. 

"Wher'd you git them things, Tim'thy Adams?" Mirandy 

hollered out. 

She was struck all of a heap 
And couldn't scarcely fetch her breath fer wonder. 
"Out o' the clock," says Tim'thy, quick, as ef a bee stung 

"Who put 'em in?" asked Mirandy, kind o' snappin' out the 


"I ain't no notion," says Tim'thy. 
Now ther was a fine fix, and dimonds agin! 
Mirandy leaned up against the door-jamb to save herself 

from fallin' 

"Whose clock is it?" says she. 
'Twas old man Smart's clock, and Tim'thy telled her so. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Well, not to keep a-talkin' all day, they sent fer old man 


And showed him the dimonds. 
But he said they warn't none o' his. 
Tim'thy acted as ef he was afeared on 'em. 
He'd put 'em on the chimbly, 
And he wouldn't tech 'em agin, nohow. 
Mirandy said she couldn't sleep with 'em in the house, 
And ther was a fine hurrah-boys. 
The neighbors got wind on it somehow, 
And they all come flockin' to ask fool questions 
And git a sight o' the dimonds. 
Tim'thy seemed kind o' crazed, all to onct. 
He jest set ther, and whispered: "In the clock! In the 


Nobody couldn't git another thing out o' him. 
Mirandy'd got to cryin' by then, 
And all the women was soothin' her, 
And burnin' feathers under her nose. 
'Twas the awfullest mess ever was, 
And all along o' them pesky dimonds. 
Somebody called in Lawyer Gary to Danbridge, 
And he took charge o' the dimonds, 
And they got the house cleared somehow. 
But nothin' ever warn't the same after. 
Mirandy went inter a sort o' decline, 
And died 'fore Thanksgivin'. 
Tim'thy didn't die, but he didn't git well neither. 


Amy Lowell 

He wouldn't tech a clock agin fer love nor money. 

If anyone said: "Clock," he'd commence shiv'rin' 

As though he had th' ague. 

Then a nasty whisper got about, 

You know how folks talk; 

Well, 'twas said the dimonds warn't really in the clock at all, 

That Tim'thy'd had 'em all these years, 

And that he only pretended to find 'em 

So's he could sell 'em at last. 

Some said 'twas a trade 'twixt him and Clif. 

Clif had kep' 'em for him while he was to States Prison. 

I guess that was all foolishness, 

But what made 'em think so 

Was that old man Smart 'lowed he'd bought the clock 

To a auction; 

And it turned out 'twas the auction o' that jewel'ry store 

Where Tim'thy worked. 

The man that owned it had sold out and gone away. 

Lawyer Gary tried to trace him, 

But 'twarn't a mite o' use. 

He'd gone to Boston, and they couldn't find out another 


But ther was the dimonds, and ther was poor old Tim'thy, 
Half cracked with findin' 'em. 
Property like that's a terrible nuisance. 
Old man Smart wouldn't look at the things, 
And he told how he'd burnt the clock, 
Considerin' it a sort o' party. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

They warn't Tim'thy's, that was sure, 

And Lawyer Gary said he wouldn't keep 'em after New 


So the selectmen voted to sell 'em, 
An' buy books for the lib'ry with the money. 
You c'n see 'em now, with a card in 'em : 
"Bought with the proceeds o' the sale o' four dimonds." 
I must ha' be'n 'bout ten when Tim'thy died ; 
I mind it well, 'cause Father told the story at supper 
The day they buried him, 
And I ain't never forgot it. 
Ther was some trouble 'bout the house tec. 
George Steele had moved to Boston years afore 
And his daughter (he didn't have no sons) had married 
And they had a time findin' her under her new name. 
Anyhow, she didn't want the farm, an' 'twas soU. 
It's be'n goin' down hill ever sence. 
Lor's mercy! Ain't this world a queer place! 
Ther was three lives all gone to smash 
Over them dimonds, 

And nothin' to show fer it but a ramshackle house, 
And a passel o' books in the lib'ry! 
Well, that's the story, 
And I must be seein' to your supper. 
It's gittin' late. 

Amy Lowell 




Weep not ; they would not have us weep for them ; 

Weep not ; for they are as the stars that shine ; 
Their glory spilt upon the darkened skies 

Can not be dimmed by frailty, yours or mine. 

They cannot die; shall not the best survive? 

The flower of man too has its seed in death ; 
And as the Phoenix soars from ashen dust 

Man's spirit from the dead draws living breath. 

They live with us as they shall live with men 
Throughout the ages in the times to be, 

Patriots and partners in the great emprise 

To make and keep their cherished England free; 

(Only when foul is fair and fair is foul, 
And honor fails, shall men blot out their light ; 

Only when men shall call their courage crime 
Shall England know oblivion and the night.) 

They shall not die so men be worthy them 

And the high motive shining through their deed ; 

So men be worthy they shall never die, 
But shall be spirit-warriors at our need. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


You in the dark of death 

Quietly sleeping; 
I in my shuttered room 

Silently weeping: 

Quickens your being in God 

You unawaking 
Or does my heart alone 

Live on and breaking? 


O sea, whose tides are as eternity, 

Whose ebb and flow survive all human pain! 
O timeless sea ! heal now this wound of time 

That my life-tide may flow in hope again : 

But if, though willing, thou art impotent, 
Beseech in pity the bland, pain-rid moon 

That she will take unto herself this heart, 
And in her bosom fashion it to stone. 


A forest of steel leaves 

Glints in the sun 
And shimmers in the wind 

The thing's begun! 


Charles Granville 

A sea of faces set 

Grimly to kill; 
A pack of wolves that rush 

To take their fill; 

A yell that rends the air 

And strikes the sky, 
And stirs the dead who low 

In silence lie; 

A sense of clashing fray, 

A bloody sun ; 
A mist of reeking blades 

And it is done! 


No shouting heralded the word 

As through the ranks it swiftly went; 

But a low murmur such as trees 

Indulge, when grateful summer's spent. 

A murmuring of seasoned wills 

Bent upon hellish wrong's redress! 
A diapason sound from deep 

To deep, presaging storm and stress. 

Then each to his allotted place 

For sleep. You say } r our fancy heard 
The air beat by a thousand wings 

That night. I could not doubt your word. 

Charles Granville 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The chickadee came in the morning: 
Over the Lake hung snow-clouds piling, 
Wheeling for the signal for the signal 
Of the lake gods coming to battle! 

Up and down the West Coast went the Life Guards, 
Sniffing at the air and frowning at the sky ; 
Peering out to westward, muttering to their Pard 
To their Pard, the surf seeping high. 

While the Winter came out of the North 
Stripped naked, cruel as a bloodless sword! 

I carried in wood and I pumped me some water; 
I cleaned out the chimney and doubled my quilts. 
Then I phoned in to town and bid my pals adieu. 
We cursed at the weather ; promised our God a prayer. 

For the Winter, the frozen Hell of the West Coast, 
Like a weasel was sneaking down the shore. 

Like the wraith of a profaned tomb it came. 
I could see it twisting and writhing round the Point, 
Round Little Sauble Point, where the pines and spruces 
Whine in a gale like the over-taut string of a viol. 

Out among the snow-clouds swept its scythe-like breath, 
Fretting the pitching waves to frothy frenzies ; 


Paul F. Sifton 

Catching their boiling crests in a creamy ice : 

And where it passed the moisture was turned to snow. 

At dusk, with a keening wrench and thrust, it left the 

Snarled at the Land; froze the West Coast dead! 

Paul F. Sifton 


There is a place of bitter memories 
Dreary and wide and lonely as the sea, 
Foaming and moaning; there they come to me 
Like wild gulls crying sea-taught monodies: 
Iron-winged hours, heavy, heavy with dread ; 
Dawn after death ; the sound of a shut door ; 
And shining love that has a withered core ; 
The eyes of those who fight and starve for bread. 
There is doom, and change, and silence, and denying ; 
Memories of these pluck at the heart of me. 
And over the bitter roar of the old dumb sea 
The air is filled with the noise of wild gulls crying. 

Babette Deutsch 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


These are my children, one boy, one girl. 
They have the beauty all children have; 
They have entered the trap all children enter 
The trap that was set by God knows who. 

These are the flowers of love and spring 
The apple-blossom and daffodils, 
Tulip and bluebell, lilac and hawthorn, 
And the young green leaves on the trees. 
But earth, the giver, is anhungered too. 

They do not know, children and flowers, 
That the ground beneath them is what it is. 
The sun and the rain, their laughter and tears, 
Are all that they know. 

I watch them at play, and I know the part 

I have played mj^self in bringing them here. 

I too was once in the outer forest ; 

And, decoyed like them, have decoyed them in, 

To be decoys in their turn, perhaps, 

To my grandchildren (will they be mine?) : 

And so it goes on, father and son, daughter and mother. 

But they look at me with their trustful eyes, 
And they laugh at me in their games and graces. 
They come and caress me, they love me so 
The thoughtless-treacherous, eagerly lecherous 
Knave and husband whom they call father, 
The man who betrayed them to certain death. 


F. S. Flint 

And I am their wistful comrade and watchdog. 

I go with them sometimes into the streets, 

Among the crowds, and I share their wonder, 

A child with my children; and my man's form 

And my man's strength is their contrite shield, 

And my heart is a pool of tenderness for them. 

For they do not know what the earth is yet, 

Nor what the clay can be to the body. 

When they know, they will no longer be children ; 

They will make their link in the chain of treaspn. 

And so it goes on, father and son, daughter and mother. 


I have not dipped my hand in the stoup, 
Nor bent my knee towards the altar 
Far away at the end of the nave. 
The crucifix towers dimly above it. 
Is this my God? 

The Stations of the Cross 

Are white on the dull-brown brickwork. 

Poor naked cathedral! 

One pillar alone is clothed 

With green marble. 

O gloom of the aisles, 

And darkness made darker 

By the candles burning in corners 

Here and there 

In front of the images! 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Why am I moved? 

Is this the house of my God? 

The voices of the priests far-off 

Near the altar 

Have sound and no meaning as words; 

But they fill the church with life 

And peace and resignation. 

The music of it enters my heart. 

God, you need me, I know, 
Or why am I here, why am I ? 
You will not cast me off, 
You cannot O God, I say it 
With a humble and desperate heart. 

1 am the least worthy atom of your Person, 
But of you, or nothing at all. 

And this woman, 

Kneeling in her ragged clothes 

Before the saint with the ten lighted candles, 

Is happier than I: 

Her worn and battered face 

Is shining with certainty. 

She is in heaven, and I 

My heart is twisted with sobs, 

And my eyes are weeping. 

And yet, as I leave the cathedral, 
I do not dip my hand in the stoup. 

F. S. Flint 




A little pulse throbbed in his throat 

When he recited. Homely things, 

Wee thoughts like grubs, had fairy wings 

For him. His dark eyes held the sun 

Mystical; in a room unlit, 

He was my taper. And the tune 

Of his voice was like the laugh in June 

Of a child surprised with loveliness ! 


The stripling Scot! 

His cold, proud face had troubled me 

What had I known of him? 

Then one day as he stood, gray-eyed, austere, 
I knew. 

A shining ribbon from a girl's brown hair 
Had brushed his hand upon the desk 
He drew back slightly. 

Cromwell Cromwell ! 
I wonder if in Scotland . . . 

POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Your beauty is as russet fruit, 
Sun-warmed, fragrant, 
In a northern room. 

Down in your eyes I hear the young girls sing 
In Toledo's summer fields. 
Your step is firm as though it trod the grape, 
And your dark head is high as though you bore 
To me a brimming gourd. 


The corner where he sat 
Was gnomed with naughtiness! 
His nickname was "The Sprat," 
His size was even less. 

Poor wide-eared little lad, 
So dirty and so bad, 
Just once I found your heart 
And there were aches in there; 
Yet still you play your part, 
Elfish and debonair. 


David, you failed 

Yet every face is dim but yours. 


Florence Ripley Mastin 

David, you failed 

Yet still I see your hands. 

You will always fail 

You are too big to succeed 

In the swift years before death. 

Florence Ripley Mastin 


Sorrow is my sick child 

I bear about with me. 
Though I've crooned soft songs, she's never smiled, 

So wan and worn is she. 

She is my own, my arms are curled 

To shut out loud alarms. 
But oh ! it's hard to work, World, 

With sorrow in my arms. 

Lucia Peeples 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Shang Ya! 

I want to be your friend 

For ever and ever without break or decay. 

When the hills are all flat 

And the rivers are all dry, 

When it lightnings and thunders in winter, 

When it rains and snows in summer, 

When Heaven and Earth mingle 

Not till then will I part from you. 

Anonymous First Century B. C. 


Once a girl was gathering flowers, 
Gathering flowers at the well-side. 
The flowers she plucked she put in her hair 
And she looked at herself in the well-water. 
Long she looked and couldn't stop, 
Laughing and laughing at her own beauty, 
Till one of her golden pins fell out 
And there in the well it has lain ever since. 
Its peacock-feathers are turned to mud, 
But the golden shaft is as bright as new. 
The person who wore it is dead and gone ; 
What was the use of the thing lasting? 

T'ang Seng-ch'i Sixth Century 


Arthur Waley 


"Tell me now, what should a man want 

But to sit alone sipping his cup of wine? 

I should like to have visitors come to discuss philosophy 

And not to have tax-collectors coming to collect taxes; 

My three sons married into good families, 

My five daughters provided with steady husbands; 

Then I could jog through a happy five-score years, 

Craving no Cloud-ascent, no Resurrection. 

Wang Chi Seventh Century 


Business men boast of their skill and cunning 
But in Philosophy they are like little children. 
Bragging to each other of successful depredations, 
They forget to consider the ultimate fate of the body. 
What should they know of the Master of Dark Truth 
Who saw the wide world in a jade cup, 
By illumined conception got clear of Heaven and Earth, 
On the chariot of Mutation entered the Gate of Immut- 
ability? Gtien Tzu-ang Seventh Century 


Families when a child is born 
Hope it will turn out intelligent. 
I, through intelligence 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Having wrecked my whole life, 
Only hope that the baby will prove 
Ignorant and stupid. 
Then he'll be happy all his days 
And grow into a Cabinet Minister. 

Su Shih Eleventh Century 


An old man selling charms in a cranny of the town-wall. 
He writes out spells to bless the silk-worms and spells to 
protect the corn. 

With the money he gets each day he only buys wine ; 
Nor does he worry when his legs wobble, 
For he has a boy to lean on. 

Lu Yu Twelfth Century 


You laugh at my clumsiness in falling into the trap of 


I sigh at your thoughtlessness in entering my round window. 
The falling leaves are blown and soaked by the east wind 

and rain; 

But you could have sheltered easily enough under the eaves 
of any roof. 

Wan* Tzu-tuan Thirteenth Century 

Translated by Arthur Waley 




A RECENT visit to St. Louis enabled me to see Alfred 
Kreyrnborg's three Plays for Poem-mimes, which were 
given by the Players' Club at the theatre of the Artists' 
Guild on the evening of Monday, December 3d. The per- 
formance gave me quite a thrill, for the plays acted extremely 
well indeed, sprang to life in the presentation w r ith a power 
which proclaimed the born playwright. Two of the plays 
I had read, Lima Beans in print and When the Willow Nods 
in manuscript read with admiration for the humane wit of 
the first and the searching poetic beauty of the second. But 
as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so that of a play 
is in the acting: it required the excellent performance of 
the Players' Club to convince me that we have in Mr. 
Kreymborg a poetic and interpretive playwright of original 
and authentic power, a claimant for wide recognition on the 
American stage. 

It was the first performance on any stage for When the 
Willow Nods and Manikin and Minikin. The former is a 
monologue in free verse, a running comment half-whimsical, 
half-pitiful, uttered, Greek-chorus fashion, by a quiet, seated, 
cloaked and hooded figure, while a boy and girl act and 
dance out their little love-affair in pantomime. It would 
be impossible to over-state the beauty of Orrick Johns' inter- 
pretation of the enigmatic speaker. Mr. Johns, being a poet 
and having a fine voice, might be expected to read the lines 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

simply and with full sense of rhythmic values but only a true 
histrionic instinct could have kept him always in the picture, 
always the master of the stage. 

Manikin and Minikin is a dialogue between two Louis 
Quinze ornaments on a mantel-piece, the figures beautifully 
dressed and posed. And Lima Beans, which has been played 
a little east and west, is a more or less satiric farce conceived 
in the gayest possible whimsical spirit; and it was set and 
acted in the same mood. 

Besides this Players' Club, St. Louis has another amateur 
company, that of the Artists' Guild, which this year has 
engaged a professional director, Irving Pichel. I was de- 
lighted to find that Mr. Pichel has designs upon the play by 
Wallace Stevens to which POETRY gave a prize over a year 
ago, Three Travellers Watch a Sunrise. If all goes well, 
St. Louis may get ahead of Chicago, which printed this play, 
and New York, the home of the poet, by producing it next 

The advance of dramatic art in this country, especially of 
the poetic drama, is now the affair of the so-called ' 'little 
theatres," which have sprung up so numerously since 
Maurice Brown started the Chicago Little Theatre about the 
time POETRY began. In fact, Chicago's precedence antedates 
even the Little Theatre, for the New Theatrt started the 
ball rolling in the season of 1906-7, the Drama Players under 
Donald Robertson pushed it along in 1907-9; and the Hull 
House Theatre, which had been giving plays even earlier, 
was reorganized for progressive work under Mrs. Pelham in 


Little Theatres and Poetic Plays 

1907. The movement started by these courageous pioneers 
has gained such headway that now even Broadway is 
trembling opening its dazed eyes to the vitality of a de- 
mand for more imaginative and beautiful work in the theatre 
than the typical commercial manager has believed the pub- 
lic would stand for. The typical commercial manager and 
the typical newspaper critic has spent much time and space 
laughing at the efforts of these amateurs, who, out of love 
of the art, with little thought of self or pelf, have done the 
pioneer experimental work which the professionals, preoccu- 
pied with self and pelf, refused to do. While the profes- 
sionals have walked in their rut and stuck to the sure thing, 
these amateur companies have offered the new thing, the 
uncertain thing, have given the young playwright a chance 
to try out his experiments and thereby learn his trade, the 
young poet a chance to test his capacity for the stage. And 
now the professionals find, to their amazement, that the sure 
thing is no longer sure, and that a group of young play- 
wrights poets arid prosers both is springing up in whose 
introduction to the public they have had no share. They 
will have to take lessons of the little theatres indeed, the 
process is beginning. And when Broadway bends a suppliant 
knee, may our young playwrights of the new movement 
accept no compromise ! 

It is a matter of deep regret to POETRY that the Chicago 
Little Theatre, whose work has been so essential in the 
movement, has found the financial problem too difficult and 
has now definitely brought its labors to a close. Since its 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

curtain first rose in November, 1912, its director, Maurice 
Browne, has given important and significant productions, 
and its chief scenic artist, Raymond Johnson, has introduced 
beautiful and original effects of line, color and lighting. As 
I review its five-year list of forty plays, besides nine for pup- 
pets plays comic and tragic, old and new, foreign and 
native the most important and significant of all seems to 
me Cloyd Head's Grotesques. If I give this production 
precedence over Ibsen, Strindberg, Schnitzler and Andrews, 
over Oscar Wilde and Synge and Yeats, over Shaw and 
Allan Monkhouse and Leonard Merrick, over even the 
beautiful productions of The Trojan Women and Medea 
with Mrs. Browne wonderful beyond words in the latter 
play it is because the special purpose of the little theatre 
seems to me to produce the modern and native thing, to try 
the immediate experiment, rather than to present old plays 
or foreign plays, which, in many cases, have had other local 

Mr. Head's play was a modern and native poetic interpre- 
tation of life, involving moreover a scenic scheme of great 
beauty and originality; and therefore the success of it, the 
special thrill that it gave, was of more value to the art, to 
"the movement," than the success of Medea, of Rosmersholm , 
of The Shadowy Waters, or even of Dierdre of the Sorrows. 
beautiful and significant as these are. It was more valuable 
because it was ours, because it uttered our own immediate 
feeling, because the poet who wrote it was on the spot to 
see it and learn from it. 


Little Theatres and Poetic Plays 

Other plays by modern poets produced by Mr. Browne 
are Rupert Brooke's dark tragedy, Lithuania, Gibson's 
Womenkind, Lord Dunsany's Lost Silk Hat, Mrs. Frank's 
Jael, three short plays by Mrs. Aldis, a gay comedy by Alice 
Brown, and Mr. Browne's own King of the Jews. The list 
should be longer and more adventurous, perhaps, and one 
might wish that the curtain had rung down on a more ex- 
perimental play than Candida. But the record of the Chi- 
cago Little Theatre is a proud one, and fundamental in any 
consideration of the new dramatic movement, as the authors 
of four recent books on the subject agree. 

I intended to discuss the work in poetic drama done by 
some of the other little theatres, but space forbids more than 
a brief mention. In Chicago the Players' Workshop tried 
numerous experiments last year, among them Brown, by 
Maxwell Bodenheim and William Saphier, which beauti- 
fully symbolized the growth and final obliteration of life 
on earth; and a fanciful thing called The Wonder-hat, by 
Kenneth Goodman and Ben Hecht. This year the Work- 
shop's successor, the Philistine Theatre, has given two poetic 
plays; one, Dead Eyes, by H. H. Ewers, being tiresomely 
conventional, and the other, Lady Lotus Eyes, by Benjamin 
Purrington, of San Francisco, a delicate Japanese idyl, deli- 
cately played. The Philistine hopes for a new theatre on 
the North Side next year, and an ambitious group on the far 
South Side has been given possession of a disused school- 
house in which to develop its large plans. 

In New York the Washington Square Players were, 1 
believe, first in the field if we except the Neighborhood 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Playhouse on the East Side. I saw them give a good per- 
formance of Zoe Akins' rather lyrical melodrama in verse, 
The Magical City, and other interesting one-acters. But 
this company, having gone over to Broadway, is now some- 
what tempted by the fat god of commerce. To the Port- 
manteau Players also of New York, though they have been 
lingering in Chicago with that gold-mine, Seventeen to 
them and their director, Stuart Walker, we owe the ade- 
quate introduction of Lord Dunsany to this country, as well 
a$ other high services. 

The Provincetown Players and the Greenwich Village 
Players are the latest adventurers in New York, the former 
in MacDougal Street, the latter in that new Montmartre, 
Sheridan Square. The former have given this year James 
Oppenheim's Night, a poetic dialogue in which Science, Re- 
ligion, Poetry, and finally Love in the person of her hus- 
band, try to console a woman for the loss of her child; 
also two satires in poetic prose by Messrs. Bodenheim and 
Saphier. The Provincetown company, under the presi- 
dency of George Cram Cook, formerly of Chicago, is a true 
workshop, giving only first productions of native plays. We 
rejoice to hear that its seating capacity has been strained. 
The Greenwich Villagers have given one poetic play thus 
far, and that rather conventional Behind the Watteau 
Picture, by Robert E. Rogers. 

The Arts and Crafts Theatre of Detroit, under the di- 
rectorate of Sam Hume, is the first theatre in America to 
follow consistently, perhaps too consistently, the Gordon 


Little Theatres and Poetic Plays 

Craig ideas, and it has the finest modern scenic equipment, 
including a sky-dome. But its repertory thus far is rather 

Mrs. Laura Sherry has been adventurous with the Wis- 
consin Players, giving this year Carlos Among the Candles 
and another by Wallace Stevens in both Wisconsin and 
New York. Aline Barnsdall has tried some interesting ex- 
periments in Los Angeles. Thomas Wood Stevens, formerly 
of Chicago, has now a great opportunity as director of the 
Dramatic Arts Department of the Carnegie Institute in 
Pittsburgh, but a few plays by Kenneth Sawyer Goodman 
are the only modern experiments he has tried thus far. 
Baltimore, Duluth, Boston, even Philadelphia, also certain 
universities, are contributing more or less to the movement 
it is impossible even to mention all the little companies 
and clubs. Let the good work go on. H. M. 


I wish English critics who discuss American poetry would 
provide themselves with the evidence. Mr. Edward Gar- 
nett, in his Critical Notes on American Poetry published in 
the Atlantic, makes no mention of Carl Sandburg or Vachel 
Lindsay, and his estimate of Ezra Pound's work is based on 
juvenilia nothing later than 1911, though Mr. Pound's 
work is published on the other side and might easily have 
been obtained. Mr. Garnett has "been told" that "he is at 
his best in his translations from the Chinese." And with this 
casual remark, he rests his case against Mr. Pound. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

It would not be so bad if the English critics Mr. Garnett 
is not the first of them told us something new, something 
that we do not already know, or if their grasp of the subject 
were equal to their willingness to take long-range shots 
without the assistance of a range-finder. But the chief 
impression gained from Mr. Garnett's article is that he is 
uninformed, or that he has been misinformed by mis-repre- 
sentative guide-books such as Mr. Braithwaite's Annual 
Anthology of Magazine Verse and kindred blue-books. He 
says some interesting things, some vital things, in connection 
with the poetry of what he calls the transition period follow- 
ing Whitman, and it is to this period that his criticism 
belongs. He has hardly progressed beyond it. It tempers, 
one feels, his reactions to contemporary American poetry. 

The fact is that English critics have not glimpsed the 
direction in which American poetry is moving. It is creat- 
ing a new diction, a new idiom, and it is going to be a much 
more fluid thing than they have any idea of. It is on the 
score of diction that the American poets are said chiefly to 
err, and it is on this very score that they are going to move 
away from their critics. Carl Sandburg uses the English 
language as if it were a new instrument. Vachel Lindsay 
and Edgar Lee Masters are not writing poems that will stack 
up with some already conceived model of good style or social 
form in English verse, but poetry that will fit and respond 
to the conditions of their own life and place. 

When Mr. Garnett says that the American poets lack 
distinction of style, is he not thinking of a style with which 


American Verse and English Critics 

he is already familiar? And when he says that they lack 
"literary humus" must not the emphasis be placed upon 

Never, I think, have the American poets been so securely 
rooted in their native soil. If one examines an anthology of 
contemporary English poetry, the Annual of New Poetry 
recommended by Mr. Garnett, one finds a prevailing note 
of withdrawal, or of remoteness from the concerns of con- 
temporary life. And this precisely is what is not character- 
istic of contemporary American poetry. Our most distinctive 
verse is at present so much concerned with American life 
and so much a part of it that it may be said to be becoming 
genuinely national something that one does not find true 
of English poetry today; for what is national in contem- 
porary English poetry is not of today but of a century or 
more ago. Whatever enrichment English poetry has had 
lately has been from outside sources, not from within. One 
does not feel the lack of "literary humus" in English poetry, 
but one feels sometimes that the soil is a little weary, a little 
sterile, from having been so many times reworked without 
sufficient nutriment from life. 

Of course what Mr. Garnett says of the adulterate liter- 
ary style of the vast majority contemporary with Whitman 
and a vast majority today is true; the combination of a 
borrowed literary style imported from England, and the 
native image, is incongruous. But, and this Mr. Garnett 
does not see, it is the native image that is going to win out, 
the native image that we are beginning to treasure. That 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

is why our poetry is now, for the first time, beginning to have 

Mr. Garnett begins his article with a very curious pre- 
mise, the premise that "English poets inherit advantages 
denied their American brothers." He says: 

The English literary soil has been fructified by the germs of poetic 
associations since the days of Chaucer. Indeed, not only were the 
Elizabethans inspired by the riches of the mediaeval world and the 
Renaissance, but elements of the rich compost of the buried civiliza- 
tions carried into Britain by the invading Celts, Romans, and Teu- 
tonic tribes reappear in the literary magic of Shakespearian drama. 

Just why this literary inheritance belongs exclusively to 
the English poet and not to his American brother who lives 
in the backwoods and still has hand-to-hand encounters with 
painted savages, yet also possesses a few books is not ex- 

It is not because of a lack of background that the Ameri- 
can poet differs from his English contemporary. Why should 
not the American scene and many generations of American 
life tend to change one's reactions to the historic literary back- 
ground? When have backgrounds remained static and not 
receded from the middle to a possibly remote distance? Yet" 
whenever a poet or a critic boldly emphasizes a new middle 
distance, say, at the expense of one that has been pushed 
further back, it is commonly assumed that that poet or critic 
has no background. It is much easier to find fault with a 
critic on this score than on the score of failing to appreciate 
the thing that is pushing back the middle distance and creat- 
ing a new foreground. Thus I have had to suffer recently 
the implication of having no background because not suffi- 


American Verse and English Critics 

ciently responsive to the literary appeal of Ralph Hodgson's 
poems. Yet neither of the two critics who publicly upbraided 
me has noted the negative quality of Mr. Garnett's criti- 
cism of American poetry. If my reaction ta English poetry 
is so obviously tempered by provincialism and a supposed 
dullness of response to the beauty of rhyme and all that is 
classic in English verse, why not expose the unexpansive nar- 
rowness of Mr. Garnett's vision of American poetry? 

It is not that the American poet can not write like his 
English contemporary, but that he does not want to. It is 
not that one does not recognize the' excellence of an achieved 
literary style, but that one may be more interested in a more 
poignant reality. 

Mr. Garnett devotes more attention to the faults of Mr. 
Masters' least successful, obviously early, poems than he does 
to an appraisal of the highly original quality of the best 
poems in his later books. He is more interested in calling 
attention to certain tedious unnecessary lines in some of these 
poems than in proclaiming the new drift of ore. But if one 
turns from these to the poems of Mr. W. W. Gibson, in the 
recommended Annual of New Poetry, in which we find not 
only lines but whole poems that are tedious and unnecessary, 
and in which one looks in vain for that distinction of style 
said to be lacking in American poetry, what must one think 
of Mr. Garnett's comparative criticism? 

And what, we may ask ourselves, is the value of criticism 
which tells us all that we already know of the faults of 
American verse but does not approximate any true under- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

standing of its unique features? If it tells us merely that 
American verse is different from English verse and therefore 
poor, can we believe it? If it tells us, after a due consid- 
eration of all the evidence, that American verse has not yet 
achieved its ideal or attained quite clearly to a full percep- 
tion of its direction, then we may begin to listen to it. But 
the English critics have not looked for any direction. They 
have thought of Whitman as an isolated phenomenon, and 
have only recognized as his successors those who have bor- 
rowed his clothing and who are not really his successors at 
all. Unless one recognizes the new, autochthonic note in 
American poetry today, in the most distinctive American 
poetry that is, one realizes nothing of the subtle impulses 
and forces that are at work to create a new poetic environ- 
ment for the coming generation. And if one fails to recog- 
nize this, one might just as well not write about American 
poetry at all. A. C. H. 


I was recently asked to review a book. I must confess 
this the highest compliment I ever attained to. Reviewing a 
book presupposes with the average American mind a clear 
eminence in the personality of the critic I don't possess. He 
stands above the book and the hypothetical public between 
which and the author he suspends his opinion. Naturally, 
I declined the invitation. 

Had my friend asked me to have the book review me, 
this apologia would not exist. To be reviewed by a poem, 


On Being Reviewed 

to be played through by a sonata, to be twisted into an arbi- 
trary shape and burnt by symbols, it is necessary for one 
to be a sheet of foolscap, five veins of blood, a lump of clay. 
Have you ever permitted yourself to be read by Wallace 
Stevens' Three Travellers? Have you ever felt the 
spiritualized fingers of Robert Franz carefully trace one 
of his Tanagra-modelled songs over your being? Has an In- 
dian squaw urged you blindly to her belief by dyeing your 
common clay to yellow or coral streaked with black signs? 
Do you know what it is to be as helpless before art as a 
cloud to a wind, or a wind to a cloud ? Do you know what 
it is to be resurrected from the death of being wholly one- 
self? from the existence of being oneself to the life of 
being every body, spirit and thing, near or foreign? And 
no two the same? And no one ever resembling you? Do 
you know, you, for example, who aren't religious, what 
a faith is while you listen to Christ, Mohammed or Buddha? 
you who are no poet, what a poet you are when Whitman 
or Nietzsche mesmerizes your every faculty you who never 
attended a conservatory, what a supreme music-maker you 
are under Bach or Debussy you who couldn't name the 
primary colors, what it is to be Botticelli or Cezanne you 
who never pondered a riddle, what a philosopher and sci- 
entist you are, whether Plato or Darwin? Do you know, 
atom, how universal you are mole, you can see deaf mute, 
hear dumb brute, sing? 

Then you know why I cannot review a book. When I 
am able to say I am Rabelais, I am Schopenhauer, I am Jane 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Austen, I am So-and-so, mayhap I'll try creative criticism. 
But as long as I have to say, Rabelais, Schopenhauer, Jane 
Austen, So-and-so they are not I I cannot even have a 
book review me. There is one obstacle between them and 
me: I still love, see, feel myself, beyond all else. I cannot 
review them, nor they me. Are you the fool I am? Is 
it possible, a poem, a song, a bowl, a human, cannot trans- 
form you from the I-am-I to an I-am-you? 

Alfred Kreymborg 



The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems, by Vachel 

Lindsay. Macmillan Co. 

This book, like others by its author, is of uneven quality. 
Opening it at the Epitaphs for Two Players, one wonders 
why the poet is satisfied with the obvious in meaning and 
rhythm ; at The Tiger Tree, one wonders whether his fancy, 
his love of symbolic color and incrustation, is to lead him 
into mere confusion, without intelligible pattern. Simplicity 
becomes childish at times, and gorgeousness a bit theatrical. 

One must select; one must get in ahead of Time and 
play his part. One must resist the seductions of the imme- 
diate moment this volcanic moment of war; and of the 
subject subjects like Mark Twain, prairies and buffaloes, 
Kerensky, Niagara, which move us whether the poet enriches 
them or not. We must search for Mr. Lindsay's peculiar 
and individual magic does he still control his instrument? 


Still Alive 

Mr. Conrad Aiken, in a recent review of this book, says 
no. With athletic alacrity he digs Mr. Lindsay's grave 
and pronounces a would-be mournful hie jacet. "It is never 
pleasant," he sighs, "to have to set the seal of death on the 
brow that inclines for a crown," and then proceeds to 
show what a poor thing even at his best was the poet he 
has buried, how "curiously overestimated" was Booth, how 
"full of childish echolalia" was The Congo two "declam- 
atory and orotund" poems which let me see Mr. Yeats 
has ventured to praise. And now alas! even "his charm 
and skill as an entertainer" are denied, the new book is "only 
a tired and spiritless echo," etc. 

Nevertheless, in spite of this nimble critic, we need not 
yet despair of the Springfield bard. If the new book con- 
tained only its title poem, it would still be a record of 
growth. The Chinese Nightingale has beauty of form a 
certain compactness and completeness beyond any other 
of its author's longer poems; and in the molding of it 
his rarest qualities of whimsicality, rhythmic invention, hu- 
mane intuition the very feeling of men and myths, and, 
best of all, a profound ecstatic love of life, are blended as 
happily as the colors of an old Chinese bowl. The thing 
is so simple and shapely that its subtle beauty escapes Mr. 
Aiken and critics of his calibre, even as the soft loveliness 
of a Sung-dynasty painting escapes an eye accustomed to 
the flare of Japanese prints. The poem glows in the mind 
and increases in beauty. No one can have read it more 
than I in manuscript, proof and print; but I find it finer 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

now than when POETRY first offered it to the world and 
crowned it with the Levinson Prize. 

But the title poem is not all. One feels the march of 
races and nations in certain poems of this book. I speak 
not so much of Kerensky, though there is a big blare of 
trumpets and rush of flags in this greeting to new Russia; 
still less of The Ghosts of the Buffaloes, which somehow 
misses its effect. But in Pocahontas and some of the negro 
poems there is a sweeping grandeur of design extremely rare 
in modern poetry. Pocahontas grows to epic stature as 
the source and symbol of our love of the wilds : 

In Adams Street and Jefferson 
Flames coming up from the ground! 

She is exalted into a myth, and becomes the common mother 
of our many races of pioneers. 

And John Brown also, already half mythical, grows into 
grandeur under Mr. Lindsay's wand. Who else, with such 
simple motions, can create immensities? 

I've been to Palestine. 

What did you see in Palestine? 
Old John Brown. 
Old John Brown. 
And there he sits 
To judge the world. 
His hunting-dogs 
At his feet are curled. 
His eyes half closed, 
But John Brown sees 
The ends of the earth, 
The Day of Doom. 
And his shot-gun lies 
Across his knees 


Still Alive 

Old John Brown. 
Old John Brown. 

Indeed, the Booker Washington Trilogy and Samson are 
not only extraordinarily imaginative as expressions of the 
art instinct of a more primitive race, but they strip us all 
of sophistications, bring us back to primitive simplicities. 
They have what the advanced modern art movement is 
aiming at everywhere a bold and broadly balanced composi- 
tion of rhythmic figures, done in strong lines and masses 
of color. And they use always our own jargon, our own 
gesture. Without aping any style of the past, they have 

There is more than a Negro "poem-game" in King Solo- 
mon, and much more than a "Negro sermon" in Samson. 
Any one who seeks for big adventure in modern poetry 
should be swept along with Samson when he "felt a honey 
in his soul." 

For me the value of this new book is chiefly in these poems 
I have mentioned. However, some of the shorter poems 
should have a word, especially The Flower of Mending, 
as even Mr. Aiken agrees. 

And I cannot close without a protest against the typog- 
raphy of King Solomon, with its quite unnecessary effect 
of chopped up lines. General Booth and The Congo were 
also battered out of shape in earlier books by similar taste- 
less printing. H. M. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


The Wind in the Corn and Other Poems, by Edith Franklin 

Wyatt. D. Appleton & Co. 

"My songs may never in the world tell to the listener 
the chords that I can hear them singing," says the poet in 
her preface. But she is wrong, her songs do express what 
she hears; at least they express her rapture, her sense of 
sweeping rhythms in the vast open spaces of her country 
and in the life of its populous cities. The book, in short, 
expresses a personality, one of singular vividness and fire, 
one strong enough to draw deep breaths of joy and walk in 
high places without fear. 

The spirit of this poet is so free that one forgives her 
for fettering it sometimes with too intricate rhyme-schemes. 
One feels this fettering a little in the title-poem, still more in 
Niagara, perhaps even in Winter Wheat and a few others; 
poems in which the pattern intervenes so as to force the 
reader's attention away from its motive. Miss Wyatt loves 
rhyme a bit too well perhaps; at least in certain poems her 
plans for it are not wrought out to an effect of complete 

In others, however, she attains this effect. One of the 
most fortunate in this respect is On the Shore, in which 
the light fall of syllables chimes as happily as temple bells, 
and calls the wandering will as alluringly; in which also 
a refrain is used with haunting beauty. And she hears the 
call of the West. We feel the swift step of the roamer in 
On the Great Plateau, An Arizona Wind and Overland' 


Wind in the Corn 

we feel it also in the city poems, especially City Whistles 
and the beautiful City Afternoon, both of which are full 
of wind and space. We feel it even in An Unknown Coun- 
try, for sleep leads her into the deepest, most spacious country 
of all: 

Where do I go 

Down roads of sleep 

Behind the blue-rimmed day? 

A certain spaciousness is perhaps Miss Wyatt's special 
quality. Free winds blow through her poems, winds of the 
desert, of the mountains, of our cobalt skies. She goes light- 
footed wherever they blow, and follows them with special 
joy through the magic ranges of our southwestern wonder- 
land. On the Great Plateau and An Arizona Wind both 
express this joy in the wilderness, and make us feel the march 
of day and night through its open aisles of color. Even in 
cities she does not get under-roof, though she is never in- 
human, or cold toward fellow-mortals. But she seems most 
at home out in the open : 

The crystal air of happiness 

Flew where their voices cried 
The winds that slipped their hands in mine, 

Swift running by my side. 

H. M. 


The Book of Self, by James Oppenheim. Alfred A. Knopf. 
There is a kind of person in the world who has to dis- 
cover everything for himself; as if he were the first one to 
live. He cannot take anyone's word for what is, anyone 
else's experience but his own. Of such is Mr. Oppenheim, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

and The Book of Self recounts the author's performance of 
taking apart human nature; not to see the wheels go 'round 
for speculation or mere amusement, but to determine if they 
are running in the way they are supposed to be running, and 
to catalogue the spokes. As if life were only to be under- 
stood by analysis, and you could not be sure that you grew 
unless you pulled yourself up by the roots. These analyzers, 
these searchers and uprooters, what good have they of their 
search? There is one of them I have known a long time, 
and we often ponder the question. Refusing to walk in any 
footsteps but their own, traveling the road its whole length, 
so fearlessly and eagerly, what do they find out? What, at last, 
but that which everybody else knew all the while ! The Book 
of Self discovers that human nature the Self is egoistic as 
well as altruistic; that it is subject to contradictions and to 
self-deception as to its aims and motives; that man may not 
be wholly animal nor wholly god : and it solves the problems 
these discoveries present to be solved by accepting them! 
What has been the gain for the reader then if, after many 
pages, the author brings him to the place from which minds 
untroubled with analyzing naturally start out; to con- 
clusions which for the rest of the world constitute the 
premises of life? What has been achieved ? For the author, 
conviction and the relief of utterance; for the reader, psy- 
chology, if he likes psychology ; but if he looked for poetry he 
will come away with hands almost empty. 

Following The Book of Self is The Song of Life, an alle- 
gorical narrative poem which flows along so smoothly through 


Mr. Oppenheim 1 s Book 

its fifty stanzas, in a style so admirably adjusted to narrative 
purpose and conditions, that one regrets the author should 
not be telling us a regular story in which the youth is a 
youth, and not Youth in the abstract, and the sweethearts 
are sweethearts, and the mother is not a symbol but really 
the mother. It is seldom one finds a pleasing narrative style 
in verse; the form so easily grows monotonous or sounds 
artificial. Mr. Oppenheim's is both varied and natural. 

The second half of this volume is devoted to an allegorical 
work called Creation. Some readers will recall its Prologue 
as having first appeared in The Seven Arts: a kind of pa- 
geant of the world, from its birth out of the sun and the 
emergence of man from the ape, through the human dynasties 
and epochs, down to the present day. 

So has the glimpse been given 

Of all man knows of his coming hence: 

That epic writ in his Earth and in his body . . . 

Chasmic unorganized forces shaped into Man, 

And out of it the brief canto of historic times. 

The Prologue over, a series of stage scenes follows, 
reminiscent of the symbolism in Andreyev's Life of Man. 
Except for the Epilogue, and one or two other portions, 
Creation has very little poetic appeal. Mr. Oppenheim 
seems to be most fully a poet when he is writing prose. The 
editorials in that beautiful magazine of his, The Seven Arts, 
were more stirring poetry than any in this book; they made 
us know more of self and life and man, of ourselves and of 
America and of Mr. Oppenheim. H. H. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Divinations and Creation, by Horace Holley. Mitchell 


A delicate touch upon certain elusive human relations, 
certain subtleties of human psychology, has this young poet 
and dreamer. Our readers no doubt observed this over a 
year ago in the tragic narrative Crosspatch, here reprinted, 
through the storm of which emerge two characters of high 
but ruined nobility. But perhaps The Meeting, which gives 
a situation rather than a story, is even more intuitive. 

Rarely have I read a first book of poems so keen with 
spiritual passion. The poet feels more than he can say, per- 
haps, but the beauty he divines and dreams is joy and pain 
to him, emotion that makes life an almost impossible ecstasy. 

Then I fell 

Upon the knees that are no more my knees, 
And with a voice that is no more my voice 
I cried a cry, the single thing I am, 
As one will cry whose house has fallen down 
For help to raise the ruin and go free. 
And like the cry I fled outside myself 
And died like echo on the farthest hill. 

If the poet's art fails him often, if we have turgid lines 
that seem to crush the fine ones, we may reasonably hope 
for more assured control in his next book. Indeed, the worst 
failures Ecstasy, for example are among the Post-impres- 
sionist Poems written in 1913. The later work shows finer 
taste and a more stript and clarified style. H. M. 


The Yeats Letters 


Passages fro?n the Letters of John Butler Yeats, selected by 

Ezra Pound. Cuala Press, Dundrum, Ireland. 

I make no excuse for reviewing this small book which I 
myself have edited. I have been through the matter more 
often than any other critic or reviewer is likely to go through 
it, and I am in at least that degree more fit to praise it. 

This book is priceless because for the first time a detached 
critic, without temper, writing not for the public but simply 
to a member of his own family privately, without any tinge 
of didacticism, without hoping or thinking to convince any- 
one holding hostile opinion, has defined and described 

I know of no modern book which contains so much good 
sense about poetry. Good sense is perhaps too plain and 
prosaic a term; there is a rich humanity in this old man's 
writing, a freedom from the curse of Wordsworth and the 
Victorian era and an equal freedom from the petulance of 
our decade. 

Poetry is the last refuge and asylum of the individual of whom 
oratory is the enemy. 

Imagination is the faculty by which truth is made real to the 
sentient man. 

There is no use in my excerpting definitions, for they 
will lose value taken apart from their context; they will 
become current coin, parrot phrases; they will not induce 
a realization of John Yeats' poetic philosophy, and there 
is in these letters a whole and sound poetic philosophy. 
There is in them a cure for our age and our country, a 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

cure for all the infection left over from Wordsworth and 
Carlyle and Arnold ; and there is in them a humanity no 
less rich than Remy DeGourmont's, a very different hu- 

I wonder if more of us would be as wise as this Nestor 
could we live so long, think so much and publish so little. 

I keep reading the book backwards and forwards for the 
thirtieth and fortieth time, delighted with the aptness of 
the diagnosis, the erasing one can not call it destruction 
of literary idols and bogies which one had always known 
instinctively to be wrong; which had been thrust upon one 
ad nauseum and which had only thrown one into a temper. 
One's own attempts to eliminate them had been uncon- 
vincing incoherence. And yet how easy it seems, as in this 
passage : 

The supremacy of the will-power infers the malediction of human 
nature that has cursed English life and English letters. Bunyan 
. . . foremost in the malediction movement. He would have 
called Hamlet Mr. Facing Both-ways, and Juliet Mistress Bold-face 
or Carnality, and Romeo Mr. Lovelorn, and Macbeth Mr. Hen- 
pecked, etc. ; finding where he could epithets to belittle and degrade 
the temple of human nature and all its altars. 

I am haunted by single lines, plucked here and there by infal- 
lible instinct; there is no critic like the memory. 

Wordsworth would not have made the homicidal Achilles 

Aeschylus' Athena is not beautiful till we see her timid with the 

Because of his passion for truth the man with a poetical mind dis- 
likes improvisation. 

I might go on until I had quoted most of the book; for 
it is compact of such succinct formulations, each full of 
persuasiveness and not one strained toward an epigram. 


The Yeats Letters 

Of course they interpret Whitman literally, as a few years ago 
they did the Bible ; the same lunacy in another form. 

And Mr. Yeats puts his finger thus on Browning's defect : 

He tended away from the true mood of the whole man into the 
false mood of the idea. 

But a stricture of this sort against Browning must be bal- 
anced by the concurrent praise of Aeschylus and Dostoievsky 
before it can convey all of Mr. Yeats' meaning. 

The book is full of wisdom. E. P. 


Retrogression and Other Poems, by William Watson. John 

Lane Co. 
Pencraft: a Plea for the Older Ways, by William Watson. 

John Lane Co. 

Is it possible that there is any writer living in these war- 
vivid days who can open his book of alleged poems with 
bombast like this? 

Our daughters flower in vernal grace ; 
In strength our striplings wax apace; 
Our cities teem; our commerce rides 
Sovereign upon the fawning tides. 

A few pages further along we find this pearl of song and 
criticism, entitled The Sexes of Song-' 

First in the empire of the Muse 
Are the broad athletes, the all-male, 

Who from their cradles had the thews 
That unwithstandably prevail. 

But many a province she possesses 
Rich in fair manors and proud seats, 

Bestowed on such great poetesses 
As Shelley and June-hearted Keats. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Mr. Watson "has it in" for modern English. He "waxes 
apace" throughout this slender volume, and, moved by the 
perfections of his own style, grows sarcastically admoni- 

Shun, if thou wouldst by men be heard, 
The comely phrase, the well-born word. 

Well, we are willing to pass over these "poems" to that 
super-critic, Time, in whom their author thus nobly expresses 

When criticasters of a day 

Seem to have sneered me quite away; 

When with a pontiff's frown 

Some dabbler puts me down; 

Then, draining mine appointed cup, 
In patience do I gird me up, 

Knowing that Time, one day, 

All his arrears will pay. 

Pencraft is the kind of criticism one would expect from 
this kind of poet. The man whose best art has been mere 
echoes, is always the one in despair over the art of his own 
time and all the influences which inspire it. To Mr. Wat- 
son Whitman is "the boisterous and shaggy barbarian of 
Brooklyn," Villon is "a member of the dangerous classes 
with a knack of writing," and Blake the wielder of "a most 
unsure and infirm pen." And he gently but firmly puts 
American literature in its place, reminding us of a time 
"when it saw no shame in bearing some such relation to 
the literature of Great Britain as that of Rome bore to that 
of Greece," and condoling with us because the change from 
this attitude of "filial piety" has produced only "verse which 
can perhaps be best described as an uncouth sincerity." 


A Back Number 

Why do we pause over such f ulminations ? Because they 
have been taken seriously in Britain and the States by certain 
readers, critics and audiences. Because Mr. Watson has 
toured this country lecturing and reading from his works 
to literary circles, women's clubs, and even colleges, who 
naively seemed to think they had captured a real poet of 
reputation and authority. Because well, because platitudes 
are popular, and a sycophantic colonialism is not yet banished 
trom the highways and byways of American taste. 

H. M. 

Miss Amy Lowell, of Brookline, Mass, is well known to our 
readers. Her latest book of verse is Men, Women and Ghosts, and 
of prose is Tendencies in Modern American Poetry (Macmillan Co.). 

Mr. F. S. Flint, one of the English imagists, is also a familiar 

Mr. Arthur Waley and Mr. Charles Granville are English poets 
new to our readers. The latter will soon publish Poems of Nature 
and War (Dryden Pub. Co. Ltd., London). 

The other three contributors are young American poets who 
appear for the first time. Miss Florence Ripley Mastin, of Brooklyn, 
N. Y., will soon publish her first book of verse; Miss Babette 
Deutsch, of New York, has contributed to other magazines; and 
Miss Lucia Peeples, of Atlanta, Ga., makes her first appearance in 



Souls and Other Poems, by Glenn Hughes. Paul Elder & Co. 
From Dawn to E<ve, by Julia Wickham Greenwood. Badger. 
With the Colors Songs of the American Service, by Everard Jack 

Appleton. Stewart & Kidd Co., Cincinnati. 

A Lap Full of Seed, by Max Plowman. B. H. Blackwell, Oxford. 
Opus I, by Kay Monroe. Privately printed, San Francisco. 
Barbed Wire and Other Poems, by Edwin Piper Ford. Midland 

Press, Moorehead, Minn. 
Poems of Frank Dempster Sherman, Edited, with Introduction, by 

Clinton Scollard. Houghton Mifflin Co. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Songs of the Stalwart, by Grant! and Rice. D. Appleton & Co. 
In the Garden of Life, by Josephine M. Peacock. Privately printed. 
At Vesper Time, by Ruth Baldwin Chenery. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
The Everlasting Quest, by Henry L. Webb. Macmillan & Co. 
Birth Pangs, by Margaret Adams Faulconer. Privately printed. 
A Garden of Remembrance, by James Terry White. James T. 

White & Co., New York. 

/ Build My House, by Jane Burn James T. White & Co. 
English B, by Agnes Porter. Sherman French & Co. 
Grenstone Poems: A Sequence, by Witter Bynner. Frederick A. 

Stokes Co. 

The Potter's Clay, by Marie Tudor. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
Tower of Ivory, by Archibald Macleish, Foreword by Lawrence 

Mason. Yale Univ. Press. 


A Book of Verse of the Great War, Edited by W. Reginald 
Wheeler, with Foreword by Charlton M. Lewis, Ph. D. Yale 
Univ. Press. 

Anthology of Swedish Lyrics from 1750 to 1915, Translated in the 
Original Meters by Charles Wharton Stork. The American Scan- 
dinavian Foundation, New York. 

Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1917 and Yearbook of American 
Poetry, Edited by William Stanley Braithwaite. Small, Maynard 
& Co. 

Golden Songs of the Golden State, selected by Marguerite Wilkin- 
son. A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago. 

Fifes and Drums: Poems of America at War. (The Vigilantes 
Books). George H. Doran Co. 

The Provincetown Plays, Third Series: The Two Sons, by Neith 

Boyce; Lima Beans, by Alfred Kreymborg; Before Breakfast, by 

Eugene O'Neill. Frank Shay, New York. 
The Hostage a Drama by Paul Claudel. Translated from the 

French with Introduction by Pierre Chavannes. Yale Univ. 

Press, New Haven. 
Louvain: a Tragedy in Three Acts, by Charles V. H. Roberts. 

Torch Press, New York. 


Studi sul Romanticismo Ingles e, di Federico Olivero. Gius. Laterza 
& Figli, Bari f Italy. 


No. V 

A Magazine of \ferse 




FOREST of my fathers, deity 
To whom the Incas and the Aztecs bowed, 
I stand and greet you from the trembling sea, 
That like some white-haired slave before a queen, 
With all its shining foam, fawns at your feet. 

I greet you from the sea above whose combers 
Your heavy perfumes break upon the wind. 
Behind them tower your mutilated trunks 
And beckon me to the Americas. 

I greet you from the sea that woos you still 

Like some wild chieftan with dishevelled locks 

Knowing that deep in your inviolate heart 

Is born the hollow ship that scars its face 

And mocks its depths with straining keel and sail. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

forest of my fathers, deity 

To whom the Incas arid the Aztecs bowed, 

1 stand and greet you from the shining sea. 
I turn to you and feel my soul set free. 
Behind me lies the stress of modern ways: 
I have become, for very sight of you, 
Like one of your wise tribal patriarchs, 
Who slept of old upon your tender grass, 
And drank the milk of goats, and ate their bread 
Sweetened with honey of the forest bee. 

I look on you and I am comforted, 

For the thick ranks of all your tufted trees 

Recall to me how centuries ago, 

With twice ten thousand archers at my heels, 

I led the way whither the mountains smoke 

And lift their craters from the shores of lakes; 

And how at length I \vandered to the realm 

Of the great Inca Yupanqui, and went, 

Following him upon the mountain-tops, 

Down to Arauco and its peaceful slopes, 

And rested in a tent of condors' wings. 

I look on you and I am comforted, 
Because the centuries have marked me out 
To be your poet, and to raise the hymns 
Of joy and grief that in heroic dawns 
The Cuzco smote upon his lyre of stone: 
Legends of Aztec emperors, and songs 


Jqse Santos Chocano 

Of bold Palenkes and Tahuantisuyos, 
Vanished like Babylon from off this earth. 

Here in your presence, with your savage spell 
Leaping in all my veins, the centuries 
Lift like a vision from the abyss of time 
And pass before me in unfading youth. 

So I evoke the ages still unformed 

That saw your first tree burst its bonds of stone, 

And all the others headlong on its track, 

With the ordained disorder of the stars. 

So I evoke the endless chain of time, 

Of creeping growth and slow monotony, 

That passed before your roots were fired with sap, 

And all your trunks took form beneath their bark; 

And all the knots of every branch were loosed, 

To join the hymn of your primeval Spring. 

And now your flowering branches are a cage 
For singing birds fantastic orchestra 
Above whose din the fickle mocking-bird 
Pours its strange song; and only one is mute 
The solemn quetzal, that in silence flaunts 
His rainbow plumage with heraldic pomp 
Above the tombs of a departed race. 

Your countless blue and rosy butterflies 
Flutter and fan themselves coquettishly ; 
Your buzzing insects glitter in the sun, 


POETRY: A Afagazine of Verse 

Glimmer and glow like gems and talismans 
Encrusted in the hilts of ancient swords. 
Your crickets scold, and when the day is spent 
And fire-flies light your depths where beasts of prey 
Stalk in the gloom, as through a nightmare gleam 
The sulphurous pupils of satanic eyes. 

Yours is the tapir, that in mountain pools 
Mirrors the shape of his deformity, 
And rends the jungle with his monstrous head ; 
Yours the lithe jaguar, nimble acrobat, 
That from the branches darts upon his prey; 
And yours the tiger-cat, sly strategist, 
With gums of plush and alabaster fang. 
The crocodile is yours, that venerable 
Amphibious guardian of crops and streams, 
Whose emerald eyes peer from the oozy caves; 
And yours the boa, that seems a mighty arm 
Hewn from the shadow by a giant axe. 

But like a sponge, into your labyrinth 

Of tropic growth you suck each living thing 

The strength of muscles and the blood of veins 

There to beget in your exuberance 

The warlike plumes of your imperial palms, 

Whose milky fruits refreshed in by-gone day 

The tribes grown weary with long pilgrimage. 

And there the patriarchal ceiba tree 
Offered its canopy to pondering chiefs 


Jose Santos Chocano 

Counselling war or peace beneath its boughs. 

And there is Pindar's oak, and there the tree 

Of Lebanon, and the mahogany, 

Whose fragrant wood in European courts 

The cunning craftsman polishes and shapes 

To thrones of kings and marriage-beds of queens. 

Forest of my fathers, deity, 

To whom the Incas and the Aztecs bowed, 

I greet you from the sea, and breathe this prayer : 

That with the night the close approaching night- 

You may entomb me in your sacred dusk 

Like some dim spectre of forgotten cults; 

And that to fire my eyes with savage light 

And wild reflection of your revelry 

Burning upon the tip of every tree 

That points into the night, you set a star! 


The way was black, 

The night was mad with lightning; I bestrode 

My wild young colt upon a mountain road. 

And, crunching onward, like a monster's jaws 

His ringing hoof-beats their glad rhythm kept; 

Breaking the glassy surface of the pools 

Where hidden waters slept. 

A million buzzing insects in the air 

On droning wing made sullen discord there. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

But suddenly, afar, beyond the wood, 

Beyond the dark pall of my brooding thought, 

I saw lights cluster like a swarm of wasps 

Among the branches caught. 

"The inn!" I cried, and on his living flesh 

My broncho felt the lash and neighed with eagerness. 

And all this time the cool and quiet wood 
Uttered no sound, as though it understood. 

Until there came to me upon the night 

A voice so clear, so clear, so ringing sweet! 

A voice as of a woman, and her song 

Dropped like soft music winging at my feet, 

And seemed a sigh that, with my spirit blending, 

Lengthened and lengthened out, and had no ending. 

And through the empty silence of the night, 

And through the quiet of. the hills, I heard 

That music; and the sounds the night wind bore me, 

Like spirit voices from an unseen world, 

Came drifting o'er me. 

I curbed my horse, to catch what she might say: 
"At night they come, and they are gone by day." 
And then another voice, with low refrain 
And untold tenderness, took up the strain: 
"Oh, love is but an inn upon life's way 
At night they come, and they are gone by day," 
Their voices mingled in that wistful lay. 


Jose Santos Chocano 

Then I dismounted and stretched out my length 

Beside a pool, and while my mind was bent 

Upon that mystery within the wood 

My eyes grew heavy and my strength was spent. 

And so I slept there, huddled in my cloak. 

And now, when by untrodden paths I go 

Through the dim forest, no repose I know 

At any inn at nightfall, but apart 

I sleep beneath the stars, for through my heart 

Echoes the burden of that wistful lay: 

"At night they come, and they are gone by day; 

And love is but an inn upon life's way." 


A coat of silk, cheap jewels he loves to flaunt, 
Some tawdry lace that serves him for a frill : 

He grasps a pistol butt, and seems to taunt 
The world and grip it in his ugly will. 

Striding his bronco with its braided tail, 
Crowned by a hat that tapers to a cone 

One feels no bribe nor violence could prevail 
To make him change his saddle for a throne. 

Proud of his seat, he cracks his rawhide lash. 

The brute obeys, a spark flies from his hoof, 
He plunges; and with pistol at his sash 

His master strides him, haughty and aloof. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

These seem no man and horse in mortal strife, 
But some Olympic figure come to life. 


Deep in the wood, of scent and song the daughter, 
Perfect and bright is the magnolia born; 

White as a flake of foam upon still water, 

White as soft fleece upon rough brambles torn. 

Hers is a cup a workman might have fashioned 

Of Grecian marble in an age remote. 
Hers is a beauty perfect and impassioned, 

As when a woman bares her rounded throat. 

There is a tale of how the moon, her lover, 
Holds her enchanted by some magic spell; 

Something about a dove that broods above her, 
Or dies within her breast I cannot tell. 

I cannot say where I have heard the story, 
Upon what poet's lips; but this I know: 
Her heart is like a pearl's, or like the glory 
Of moonbeams frozen on the spotless snow. 

Jose Santos Chocano 
Translated by John Pierrepont Rice 



I have seen old roofs, 

Broken for winds to enter, 

All their secrets flown like homing birds. 

It seemed to me they were like broken words. 

They babbled, inarticulate, of men 

Who came and went and will not come again. 

They were full of whispers and of shadows, 

Provisioned for a dream's viaticum. 

These only had a voice, 

All, all the other roofs were dumb! 


Under an old roof I went one day, 

But there was naught to see. 
Singing, silken drapery 

Went down the hall with me. 
I was aware 
Of feet upon the stair; 

Soft laughter and a little sound of tears, 

Muffled by many years. 
It was the roof, the broken roof, that sung. 

The living roofs were silent, 
But the dead roof had a tongue! 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

All the men of Harbury go down to the sea in ships, 
The wind upon their faces, the salt upon their lips. 

The little boys of Harbury when they are laid to sleep, 
Dream of masts and cabins and the wonders of the deep. 

The women-folk of Harbury have eyes like the sea, 
Wide with watching wonder, deep with mystery. 

I met a woman: "Beyond the bar," she said, 

"Beyond the shallow water where the green lines spread, 

"Out beyond the sand-bar and the white spray, 
My three sons wait for the Judgment Day." 

I saw an old man who goes to sea no more, 
Watch from morn till evening down on the shore. 

"The sea's a hard mistress," the old man said; 
"The sea is always hungry and never full fed. 

"The sea had my father and took my son from me 
Sometimes I think I see them, walking on the sea! 

"I'd like to be in Harbury on the Judgment Day, 
When the word is spoken and the sea is wiped away, 


Louise Driscoll 

"And all the drowned fisher boys, with sea-weed in their hair, 
Rise and walk to Harbury to greet the women there. 

"I'd like to be in Harbury and see the souls arise, 
Son and mother hand in hand, lovers with glad eyes. 

"I think there would be many who would turn and look 

with me, 
Hoping for another glimpse of the cruel sea ! 

"They tell me that in Paradise the fields are green and still, 
With pleasant flowers everywhere that all may take who 

"And four great rivers flowing from out the Throne of God, 
That no one ever drowns in and souls may cross dry-shod. 

"I think among those wonders there will be men like me, 
Who miss the old salt danger of the singing sea. 

"For in my heart, like some old shell, inland, safe and dry, 
Anyone who harks will still hear the sea cry." 

Louise Driscoll 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The silence of the night is full of voices, 

Voices like the trumpets of angels 

Blown across the stars from the ramparts of heaven, 

Voices like the stillness 

Of one newly dead. 

The silence of the night, 

Empty of cry of bird or beast, 

Empty of stir of leaf or branch, 

Empty of all human utterance, 

Is filled with voices. 

In the silence of the night 

I stood by the garden pool in the darkness 

And I heard a voice crying, 


For the feet of Him who comes are on the threshold of the 

For He holds the worlds in His hands. 

In the silence of the night 

In the shadows by the pool in the darkness 

I heard a voice answer: 


For the hour of waking will come, will come. 


Maurice Browne 

Sleep, and dream not. Sleep, and be at rest. 


While ye may. 

In the silence of the night 

I heard a voice 

Like the trumpet of an angel; 

In the silence of the night 

I heard a voice 

Like a soul passing: 

Where the trees brood over the pool 

In the darkness of my garden. 



In the silence of the night 


I heard a woman weeping, 

And I heard a girl singing: 

By the pool 

In the darkness of my garden 

In the stillness of the night. 

O singing girl, singing girl, singing girl, 

Singing through the night, 

Singing, singing, under the trees, 

Singing, singing, singing, beside the pool in the darkness, 

"Come away," singing, "Come away, O my lover," 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

"Love! Love! Love!" singing like a bird among the branches, 

Golden-throated singer, young for ever, undying, 

Singing of love all night among the shadows under the silence, 

Under the silence of the stars, 

Under the silence of the night, 

Under the eternal silence: 

Sing! sing! sing! 

Sing for ever, for ever through the darkness, 

Sing through the silence, sing through the everlasting silence, 

Sing! shattering the silence 

You also 

For ever. 

In the silence of the night 
I heard a girl singing, 
And I heard a woman 
Weeping in the darkness. 

singing girl, singing girl, 
Singing all night long, 

Singing of love, of love, to my heart in the darkness of the 


"Love! Love! Love! Love!" singing full-throated, triumphal, 
Virginal, golden-hearted, magical in the stillness: 
Sing for ever, for ever. 

In the silence of the night 

1 heard a girl singing, 

And I heard a woman weeping: 


Maurice Browne 

A woman weeping, 
Weeping in the darkness. 

Singing girl, O singing girl, 

Sing for me again in the darkness. 

Sing for me, sing for me, in the darkness, 

Sing again, sing again for me in the darkness, 

singing girl, singing girl, 
Sing for me again. 

By the pool 

In the silence of the night 

1 heard a woman weeping, 

A woman weeping in the darkness, 

Quietly, ceaselessly 

Weeping in the darkness 

Through the long night, 

Through the night that will not end, 

Through the eternal night. 

O singing girl, my singing girl . . . 

Rain, rain, rain. 

Rain among the leaves and on the branches, 

Rain on the branches in the darkness: 


Lost, lost, lost. 

O lost, O lonely, Q forsaken! 

O my lover, O lonely, O my lover! 



POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Never, never, never. 

Nevermore his feet upon the threshold: 

the trumpet that pealed upon the threshold! 
Nevermore, never, never. 


By the pool, listening, 

1 heard silence enfold the night: 
Where the wet trees 

Make a darkness of my garden. 


And again, a third time, 

The silence of the night was filled with voices : 

Antiphonal voices like the trumpets of the sons of God 

Pealing from star to star across the ramparts of heaven ; 

Answering voices hushed like the stillness 

Of one dead who will not awaken. 

The silence after the song had ceased, 

The silence that followed after 

The tears of another, 

Were aflame and terrible with voices. 

What is the silence of the night to us? 
Or the tears of a woman? 
Or the singing of a girl in the darkness? 
Or the silence after the singing? 
What to us are silence and song? 


Maurice Browne 


Over and under and about the silence 

And through the silence 

And filling the silence, 

While dawn 

Moving over the darkness 

Touched like a lover the pool in my garden, 

The voices of the night met and mingled 

And were one: 

Make an end of tears in the night: 

Make an end of singing in the darkness: 

Sing in the da^vn ) the dawn! 

In the dawn make a song of your tears: 

Let your tears be a song for ever 

In the great silence. 

In the hush of dawn 
Between the night and the day 
I heard this voice, 
A voice like the stillness of God. 

Maurice Browne 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

A great white leopard prowling silently 
Over the house-tops, up and down the sky, 
Trailing its ermine and its ivory 
The lithe and sinuous snow creeps softly by. 

The air is crowded and the day alight; 
The houses etched in stuccoed boundaries 
Loom radiant, while in capricious flight 
The snow paints ghostly summer on the trees. 

With opals and with lustered silks inlaid 
The snow spreads out its long unbroken seas, 
And frames each house in candied masquerade 
Of quaint and crystaline geometries. 

Perhaps the snow is an enchanted rain, 
Or, swarming white and gently to and fro, 
The souls of little birds come back again 
And searching for the sky they used to know. 

The snow falls thicker, and a spectral night 
Bursts without sunset in a wind-whirled glow, 
Blotting the day and leaving more alight 
The glistening white nocturne of the snow. 

The stiff and tangled avenues become 

Like some vague field of dreams that hides behind 


Ben Hecht 

A strange and delicate delirium 

Of labyrinthine pallors, swift and blind. 

The snow seems rising a fantastic spray 
Some sharp and sinister wind has given wing; 
And all the world is blowing fast away, 
The houses and the trees first vanishing. 

The world is but a shimmering pastel, 
A whimsically chiseled cameo 
Whose life seems only the ephemeral 
And pale diaphonous music of the snow. 

The snow has ended and the highways lie 
In lacquered desolation; and outthrown 
The blue and staring shadow of the sky 
Appears above the emptied air alone. 

The night is not so silent as the snow 

And yet the night is dark and mute and deep 

The faery stains that wander to and fro 

Are what the night is dreaming in its sleep. 

Ben Hecht 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


The morning is 

Sunlight rainlight. . . 

O morning of blowing rainbows! 

It glistens and sings 

Like a sea-shell 

Out of cool, curling waters. 


Over the bending boughs 

Of the acacia 

Falls a shower 

Of golden light, 


Like the song of sun-rains. 


Out of the dawn 
Trembling with moon-mist 
The glow of a sun-gold rose! 
Wild as a wood-bird note, 
Fragrant as crushed red wine. 


Lucy Eddy 


A Hame of scarlet 
Flares in the tree-tops; 
It spreads like wild-fire 
And runs crackling over 
The blue-green leaves. 


The purple breeze 

Sings through the jacaranda 

And wings away, 

Leaving the shadows to flower. 


Branches of blowing rain, 
Of gray-winding winds, 
Of twilight brooding. 


Garlands of royal purple; 

Proud, regal notes of pageantry 

Sounding imperial color ; 

A fanfare of trumpets 

Triumphant, barbaric ; 

Bells and chimes and cymbals 

Clanging crimson. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Sea-wind, sea-wind, 

Gently go 
Over the sapphire waters 

Where anemones glow, 
On the crest of the waves 

Where the foam-flowers blow- 
Soft as light, 

White as snow. 

Sea-wind, sea-wind, 

Softly sing; 
For the water-bells lightly 

Bubble and ring; 
Where the golden kelp-weeds 

Curl and swing, 
And a flying-fish, 

On gauzy wing, 



A breath of sleep waking, 
Warm as rose-pink breaking 

Over petals sunglown. 
Folding and unfolding 
Are the tiny fingers holding 

The world unknown! 


Lucy Eddy 


Sleep, my little sun-god, 

Dream of gold and blue! 
Skies that shone with song-light 

Swing their bells of dew, 
Tapping silver music 

Soft and low for you. 
Listen! they are singing, 

"Little one, dream true." 


Hush! the brooding wood-notes 

Fainter grow; 
Violet are the vineyards, 

Wine-winds blow ; 
Purple music hymning 

Deep and low. 


Over the graying desert 

Broods the sky. 
Clouds drift sands shift 

Night winds sigh. 
Through the hush and stillness 

Silver shadows fly. 
In the sand a foot-fall 

Sings and passes by. 

Lucy Eddy 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


To be an orphan, 

To be fated to be an orphan, 

How bitter is this lot! 

When my father and mother were alive 

I used to ride in a fine carriage 

Driving four horses; 

But when my father and mother died, 

My brother and his wife made of me a merchant. 

In the South I travelled to the Nine Rivers 

And in the East as far as Ch'i and Lu. 

At the end of the year when I came home 

I dared not tell them what I had suffered 

Of the lice and vermin in my head, 

Of the dust in my face and eyes. 

My brother told me to get ready the dinner; 

My sister-in-law told me to see after the horses. 

I was always going up into the hall 

And running down again to the parlor. 

My tears fell like a shower of rain. 

In the morning they sent me to draw water ; 

I didn't get back till night-fall. 

My hands were all sore, 

And I hadn't any shoes ; 

I walked the cold earth 

Treading on the thorns and brambles. 


Arthur Waley 

As I stopped to pull out the thorns, 

How bitter my heart was! 

My tears fell and fell 

And I went on sobbing and sobbing. 

In winter I have no great-coat, 

Nor in summer thin clothes. 

It is no pleasure to be alive; 

1 had rather quickly leave this earth 

And go beneath the Yellow Springs. 

The April winds blow 

And the grass grows so green: 

In the third month, silk worms and mulberries; 

In the sixth month, the melon-harvest. 

I went out with the melon-cart, 

And just as I was coming home 

The melon-cart turned over. 

The people who came to help me were few, 

But the people who ate the melons were many. 

All they left me was the stalks; 

I took them home as fast as I could. 

My brother and sister-in-law were harsh ; 

They asked me all sorts of awful questions. 

Why does every one in the village blame me? 

I want to write a letter and send it 

To my father and mother under the earth 

And tell them I can't go on any longer 

Living with my brother and my sister-in-law. 

Anonymous First Century B. C. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


The road that separates me mounts eight thousand feet, 
The river that parts me hangs one hundred fathoms 
In summer the brambles so thick that one cannot pass 
In winter the snow so high that one cannot climb! 
With branches that interlace Lung Valley is dark; 
Against cliffs that tower one's voice beats and echoes. 
I turn my head and it seems only a dream 
That I ever lived in the streets of Hsien-yang. 

Hsu-ling Sixth Century A. D. 


Of cord and cassia-wood is the harp compounded. 

Within it lie ancient melodies 

Ancient melodies, weak and savorless, 

Not appealing to present men's taste. 

Light and color are faded from its jade stops; 

Dust has covered its rose-red strings: 

Decay and ruin came to it long ago. 

But the sound that is left is still cold and clear, 

And I do not refuse to play it to you. 

But even if I play, people won't listen. 

How did it come to be neglected so? 

It was because of the Ch'iang flute and the Ch'in flageolet. 
Po Chii-i Eighth and Ninth Centuries 
Translated by Arthur Waley 



A present-day myth-play 
The Woman 
Messengers of Rest 
Messengers of Light 
Messengers of Beauty 
The Apparition 

Scene: A street of ugly red-brick rooming-houses. It is 
sunny but clouds are visible. The Woman is walking slowly. 
Messengers of Rest, clad in dark-grey and carrying a 
flowered carpet, appear. 

First Messenger, spreading the carpet: 
Bend, grains of wool, 
Keep the blows 
Of the sharp earth 
From her tired feet. 

Second and third Messengers: 
Curl under, 
Bend halfway, 
Lift them gently, 
Push them softly. 

First Messenger: 

As the sea-children at play 

Carry a ship, 

As the delicate grass-spirits a bird. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

[They disappear. Messengers of Light, dressed in gleam- 
ing greyish white, and riding on silver horses with gold reins, 
appear. They carry tall urns.] 

Messengers of Light, pointing to the cloudy sky: 
Odd-shaped monsters, 
Some with tails and some with wings, 
Pursued us, 

But our gleaming silver horses 
Outran them. 
We see them 
Hurry hurry! 

[They pour fro?n the urns something which makes the pieces 
of wood and stone shine, and then disappear. Messengers of 
Beauty, clad like wall-painters, and carrying long brushes, 

First and second Messengers of Beauty, painting the walls 
and sprinkling through the open window's: 
Sorrow and squalor 
Fly, fly away! 

Third and fourth Messengers of Beauty : 
Spirit of beauty, 
Spirit of youth, 
Blow on tired hearts, 
Breathe on tired eyes. 

Fifth, sixth and seventh: 

Pop up from your corners, 


Max Michelsoti 

Delicate little joys 

Peeping joys, 

Sleeping joys. 

Wake up sleeping lights, 

Sleeping colors! 

[The woman sits down on a bench in a little park which 
is near. The Apparition comes slowly and sits down on 
the edge of the bench.] 

The Apparition: 

Did I frighten you? 
Shall I go away? 

The Woman in a loiu voice as if to herself : 
Have I seen you before? 
Yes . . . years ago ... Where ? 

The Apparition: 

Years ago. . . . Yes. 
You were young . . . 

The Woman dreamily: 

Odorous grasses, 
Trees molten in darkness, 
A mild little wind 
Bounding like a willow, 
Like a playful dog . . . 

The Apparition: 

You were 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

The Woman as before: 
I loved him. 

I was not I I was a spirit. 
I was borne, borne . . . 

The Apparition: 

I know. I knew. 
I knew all. 

The Woman: 

I think I can remember 
A glimpse of your face 
In the distance . . . always . 

The Apparition enigmatically : 
Half of your kisses 
Were for me. 

The Woman: 

For you? [As if from a trance.] 

I climbed a mountain, 

I waded a thick wood, 

Your face always shone before me. 

The butterfly 

I could not catch . . . 

The Apparition: 

And later in later years 

The Woman: 


In later years 


Max Mic kelson 

The Apparition: 

Even when you were with Whiteley 
That night in New York 

[The Woman screams and hides her face.} 

The Apparition: 

Even then 

Your hands reached out to me, 

Clutched at me. 

The Woman, raising her tear-stained face a little: 
Its wings shone 

Even in the dark. ... It was 
Made of light. 

The Apparition: 

I kept each thorn 
From going too deep 
In your soul. 
Each shame 
I washed. 
And the pain 
I soothed, 
Soothed . . . 

[The Woman sits long with lowered head softly crying. 
Then she raises her face, and it beams with a strange proud 
light. The Apparition walks slowly awayJ] 

Max Michelson 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


THERE is a poem of Chocano's which well expresses his 
conception of the relations between the Old World and 
the New. He calls it a Chronicle of the Reign of Alfonso the 

In the middle of the ocean which separates Europe from 
America, two ships are about to cross each other's path at 
night. One flaunts as a figure-head, the golden lion, which 
is the emblem of Leon. The prow of the other bears the 
silver castle of Castile. Both ships are otherwise alike. 
Their crews hail one another in the same language in the 
tongue of the country of Utopia, the tongue of Spain. 

On the deck of one stands Dulcinea, Cervantes' heroine, 
as grave as an ideal, wrapped in her Spanish cloak. She is 
bearing to the New World the pure illusion, the gentle 
faith, the divine madness of old Spain. All its idealism, all 
its enchantment, all its dreams are hers. 

On the deck of the other stands Jimena, of the Chronicle 
of the Cid. On her feet are the anklets of the savage, in 
her hand she bears a fan made of the gorgeous plumage of 
the rarest tropic birds. She is bearing from the New World, 
back to the awakening consciousness of Spain, the joy of 
combat, the holy wrath, the soul of great decisions. 

But the intrepid Don Rodrigo casts in his lot with the 
visionary Dulcinea, whose soul completes his own, and the 
fantastic Don Quijote fares back to Spain in the company 


Jose Santos Chocano 

of Jimena, fired with the inspiration of her dauntless cour- 
age. "A stupendous fantasy," says Chocano, "but one that 
increases through two worlds and through four centuries." 

The names of two Latin-American poets, whose works 
have already become widely known, were linked together on 
the program of a reception given last spring by the Joint 
Committee of the Literary Arts to distinguished men of let- 
ters from Central and South America: those of Ruben Dario 
of Nicaragua and Jose Santos Chocano of Peru. This was 
right, for these men were friends; and that was more than 
a mere metaphor in which Dario once spoke of fixing in the 
button-hole of the younger poet a leaf from his own laurels. 

These poets have in common their devotion to the cause 
of poetry, but I shall try to emphasize in what respects they 
differ, and how their natures complement each other; as 
in Chocano's poem the warlike soul of Rodrigo finds its 
completion in the idealism of Cervantes' heroine, and the 
divine madness of Don Quijote in the unflinching purpose 
of Jimena. 

In the work of Ruben Dario one cannot fail to catch that 
note of cosmopolitanism combined with a sort of personal 
aloofness, that universality of expression, which makes him, 
like so many other poets of high rank, the spokesman of no 
single time or race. As Rodo has aptly said of him, Ruben 
Dario is not the poet of America. But this distinction can- 
not be denied to Chocano; witness the very titles of his 
works. Alma America and Oro de las Indias the western 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Indies of course are meant suggest immediately the source 
of his inspiration. 

I shall try to give my impression of this poet who has 
already made himself the spokesman of a continent, as far 
as possible in his own words: for in more than one of his 
poems Chocano has sketched his own portrait. In Epopeya 
Salvaje he has described the conflict in his own person of 
the dreams of a Segismundo the hero of Calderon's Life 
is a Dream with a passionate attraction towards every man- 
ifestation of external power: until at last he finds in his 
Andes, because they touch the sky; in his plains, because 
they are oceans of verdure; in his woods, because they are 
full of mystery and terror, an outlet for his emotion. And 
against this stupendous background of his native scenery he 
places the heroic Incas and the pomp of Spanish viceroys, 
in whom, as well as in the lion of the jungle and the condor 
of the mountain peak, he finds his ancestry. Yet the dreams 
of the young Segismundo are not forgotten, and from the 
caverns of his soul, in which they dwell, he draws an epic 
of the vast New World. 

It is this epic quality that predominates increasingly in 
Chocano's later work, until the scope of it enlarges to in- 
clude, not only the inspiring grandeur of natural scenery, but 
all the life that animates the jungle, and all the peoples that 
inhabit the Americas. His imagination reaches backward to 
evoke the forgotten dawns of the creation, and forward to 
anticipate the day of which Bolivar dreamed, when the peo- 
ples of the Southern Continent shall unite to form, like the 


Jose Santos Chocano 

Cordillera, an unbroken chain from the Caribbean to the 
Horn. In his Isthmus of Panama, and in his Hymn of the 
Future, even the great republic of the north is included in 
this vision; and in the latter poem he prophesies the union 
of a hemisphere. 

But even more than on these fine epics, conceived so 
broadly and full of so much contagious enthusiasm, I think 
Chocano's fame will rest on certain poems of a more re- 
stricted scope, but appealing more directly and simply to 
the heart. I mean those poems in which he touches on 
mysterious contacts between human life and the great nat- 
ural setting in which it unfolds; those which unite the lyric 
with the epic vein. Some of these have a peculiar elemental 
quality and give one the impression, almost, of never having 
been written down by Chocano, but rather of having been 
spoken aloud by him as he rides along on horseback through 
his forests. Other poems give us simple but unforgettable 
word-pictures of some single impression of the life around 
him the picturesque figure of the gaucho or llanero (the 
cowboy or the plainsman), the fragrance of the tropic for- 
est, the exuberant loveliness of a flower, the horror and fas- 
cination of the beast of prey. 

It is from such poems as these that I have made my trans- 
lations, because I feel that the Pan-American fellowship, in 
which we are all so much interested at present, is to be 
achieved not so much by proclaiming it as by feeling it. And 
it is through such poems that we are made to see with the 
eyes of our southern neighbors. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

There is sound philosophy in the fantastic conception of 
the Cronica Aljonsina, in the idea that the most perfect 
union results from a fusion of unlike but complementary 
natures. We of the North and the men of the South must 
come bearing our best gifts. Then we shall meet half- 
way, like the ships in the poem, and both crews shall speak 
the same language, though each may bear a different figure- 

Such an understanding can never be the result of mere 
treaty-making or diplomacy. It must be built on the solid 
foundation of mutual respect and sympathy. Men of letters 
can best bring about the consummation of this understand- 
ing. Could we find better emblems to place side by side 
on our new Pan-American escutcheon than those of Cho- 
cano's poem the golden lion of an undaunted purpose and 
the silver castle of our dreams? John Pierrepont Rice 


I apologize for using these metaphorical terms "hard" 
and "soft" in this essay, but after puzzling over the matter 
for some time I can see no other way of setting about it. 
By "hardness" I mean a quality which is in poetry nearly 
always a virtue I can think of no case where it is not. By 
softness I mean an opposite quality which is not always a 
fault. Anyone who dislikes these textural terms may lay 
the blame on Theophile Gautier, who certainly suggests 
them in Emaux et Camees; it is his hardness that I had first 


The Hard and the Soft in French Poetry 

in mind. He exhorts us to cut in hard substance, the shell 
and the Parian. 

We may take it that Gautier achieved hardness in Emaux 
et Camees; his earlier work did in France very much what 
remained for the men of "the nineties" to accomplish in Eng- 
land. An examination of what Gautier wrote in "the 
thirties" will show a similar beauty, a similar sort of tech- 
nique. If the Parnassians were following Gautier they 
fell short of his merit. Heredia is perhaps the best of them. 
He tries to make his individual statements more "poetic"; 
his whole, for all this, becomes frigid. Samain follows him 
and begins to go "soft," there is just a suggestion of muzzi- 
ness. Heredia is "hard," but there or thereabouts he ends. 
It is perhaps that Gautier is intent on being "hard"; is 
intent on conveying a certain verity of feeling, and he ends 
by being truly poetic. Heredia wants to be poetic and 
hard; the hardness appears to him as a virtue in the poetic. 
And one tends to conclude that all attempts to be poetic in 
some manner or other defeat their own end; whereas an 
intentness on the quality of the emotion to be conveyed 
makes for poetry. 

Another possible corollary is that the subject matter will 
very nearly make the poem. Subject matter will, of course, 
not make the poem; e. g., compare Mangan's Kathleen ni 
Houlihan, with Yeats' Song that Red Hanrahan made about 
Ireland, where the content is almost identical. 

On the other hand the man who first decides that certain 
things are poetry has great advantage over all who follow 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

him, and who accede in his opinion. Gautier did decide that 
certain things were worth making into poems, whereas 
the Parnassians only acceded in other men's opinions about 
subject matter, and accepted Gautier's advice to cut, meta- 
phorically, in hard stone, etc. 

Gautier is individual and original even in such poems 
as the Poem of Woman, and the Symphony in White Major, 
which seem but variants on old themes. I have found 
what might be a germ of the Symphony in Renaissance Latin, 
and there is an Elizabethan lyric about Swans down ever. 
Nevertheless Gautier's way of thinking about these things 
was at bottom his own. 

His originality is not in his form, his hard, close-cut lines 
and stanzas. Bernard, a poet praised by Voltaire, and at 
one time Rameau's librettist, wrote French in clear hard 
little stanzas: 

J'ai vu Daphne, Terpsichore legere, 
Sur un tapis de rose et de fougere, 
S'abandonner a des bonds pleins d'appas, 

Voler, languir 

This is not from a stanza but it shows Bernard's perfectly 
orderly method. 

Gautier writing in opposition to, or in rejection of, the 
swash of Hugo, DeMusset & Co. came undoubtedly as a 
contrast, but he can scarcely have seemed so "different" to 
Frenchmen versed in their own earlier poetry as he does 
to the English reader coming upon him with slight prelude 
save English. 

We have however some hardness in English, and in Lan- 
dor we have a hardness which is not of necessity "rugged" ; 


The Hard and the Soft in French Poetry 

as in "Past ruin'd Ilion Helen lives." Indeed, Gautier 
might well be the logical successor to Landor, were he not 
in all probability the logical co-heir with Landor of cer- 
tain traditions. 

Landor is, from poem to poem, extremely uneven. Our 
feeling of him must in part rest on our admiration of his 
prose. Lionel Johnson had a certain hardness and smooth- 
ness, but was more critic than poet, and not a very great 
poet. There is definite statement in George Herbert, and 
likewise in Christina Rossetti, but I do not feel that they 
have much part in this essay. I do not feel that their quality 
is really the quality I am seeking here to define. 

We have in English a certain gamut of styles: we have 
the good Chaucerian, almost the only style in English where 
"softness" is tolerable ; we have the good Elizabethan ; which 
is not wholly un-Chaucerian ; and the bad, or muzzy, Eliza- 
bethan ; and the Miltonic, which is a bombastic and rhetori- 
cal Elizabethan coming from an attempt to write English 
with Latin syntax. Its other mark is that the rich words 
have gone : i. e. t words like preluciand, which have a folk tra- 
dition and are, in feeling, germane to all Europe: Leuchend, 
luisant, lucente; these words are absent in Miltonism, and 
purely pedantic words, like irriguous, have succeeded them. 

We have Pope, who is really the Elizabethan satiric style, 
more or less born out of Horace, and a little improved or at 
least regularized. And we have Landor that is, Landor 
at his best. And after that we have "isms" and "eses": 
the pseudo-Elizabethanism i. e. y bad Keats ; and the roman- 
tics, Swinburnese, Browningese, neo-celticism. And how 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

the devil a poet writing English manages to find or make 
a language for poems is a mystery. 

It is approximately true, or at least it is a formulation 
worth talking over : that French prose is good in proportion 
as it reaches a sort of norm; English prose is good in pro- 
portion as a man makes it an individual language, one which 
he alone uses. This statement must not be swallowed whole. 
And we must also remember that when Italians were writ- 
ing excellent and clear prose in the time of Henry VIII 
Englishmen could scarcely make a clear prose formulation 
even in documents of state and instructions to envoys; so 
backward were things in this island, so rude in prose 
the language which had been exquisite in the lyrics of 

French "clarity" can be talked to death, and there are 
various kinds of French prose the Voltaire-Anatole-France 
kind, the Stendhal roughness and directness, the Flauber- 
tian art, and also the "soft" prose. Flaubert and Anatole 
France are both "softer" than Voltaire and Stendhal. Remy 
de Gourmont is almost the only writer who seems to me 
good in a French prose which must, I -think, be called 
"soft." It is with him a peculiar and personal medium. 

If this seem an over-long prologue, think how little dis- 
cussion there is 'of these things. Only a few professors and 
their favorite students seem to have read enough to be able 
to consider a matter of style with any data at their dis- 
posal these and a few poets of the better sort; and pro- 
fessors are not paid to spread heresies and bring uncertain- 


The Hard and the Soft in French Poetry 

ties into accepted opinion ; and poets of the worse sort seem 
seldom to have any reading. So a prologue is needed even 
for a brief attempt to find out where French verse has got 
to; or where it had arrived a few years ago, seeing that 
since the war, faute de combattants > no one has had time to 
go forward, or even to continue the work of 1912-1914 
since undigested war is no better for poetry than undigested 
anything else. 

Since. Gautier, Corbiere has been hard, not with a glaze 
or parian finish, but hard like weather-bit granite. And 
Heredia and Samain have been hard decreasingly, giving 
gradually smoothness for hardness. And Jammes has been 
"soft," in his earlier poems with a pleasurable softness. 
And De Regnier seems to verge out of Parnassianism into 
an undefined sort of poetry. Tailhade is hard in his satire. 

Romains, Vildrac, Spire, Arcos, are not hard, any one 
of them, though Spire can be acid. These men have left 
the ambitions of Gautier; they have done so deliberately, or 
at least they have, in the quest of something well worth 
seeking, made a new kind of French poetry. I first wrote 
of Unanimisme in the New Age something over four years 
ago. Romains is the centre of it. A recent English essay 
on the subject, trying to point to English unanimities, is 
pure rubbish, and shows no comprehension on the part of 
its author. Remains' unanimisme is a definite theory, al- 
most a religion. He alone of the better French poets seems 
to have written at its dictates. The rest of the men of his 
decade have not written to a theory. Romains has, I think, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

more intellect than the rest of them, and he is an equally 
notable poet. He has tried to make, and in places succeeded 
in making, poetry out of crowd-psychology. Vildrac has 
been personal and humanitarian. Arcos and Spire have de- 
lineated. Romains' portrayal of the collective emotions of 
a school of little girls out for the day is the most original 
poem in our generation's French. His series of "prayers" 
to the God-one, the god-couple, the god-house, the god-street, 
and so on is extremely interesting. Vildrac's short nar- 
rative poems are a progress on the pseudo-Maupassant story, 
and have parallels in English. Romains has no English par- 
allel. Allowing for personal difference, I should say that 
Spire and Arcos write "more or less as I do myself." I do 
not mean to make any comparison of merits, but this com- 
parison is the easiest or simplest way of telling the general 
reader "what sort of poems" they have written. 

I do not think I have copied their work, and they cer- 
tainly have not copied mine. We are contemporary and as 
sonnets of a certain sort were once written on both sides 
of the channel, so these short poems depicting certain phases 
of contemporary life are now written on both sides of the 
channel; with, of course, personal differences. 

Vildrac has written Auberge and Visile, and no doubt 
these poems will be included in any anthology of the period. 
The thing that puzzles me in attempting to appreciate both 
Romains and Vildrac is just this question of "hard- 
ness," and a wonder how poetry can get on without it 
not by any means demanding that it be ubiquitous. For I 


The Hard and the Soft in French Poetry 

do not in the least mean that I want their poems rewritten 
"hard"; any more than I should want Jammes' early poems 
rewritten "hard." A critic must spend some of his time 
asking questions which perhaps no one can answer. It is 
much more his business to stir up curiosity than to insist on 
acceptances. E. P. 


Literary currents in America often remind one of a switch- 
back road. Somebody over here starts something, but the 
trail seems to end get lost in the rocks or the bushes. After 
months or years, however, it reappears near its source 
American papers quote the great news as coming from 

For example, the Literary Digest of December 2Qth 
quotes the London Times on What Chinese Poets can Teach 
Ours. Of course POETRY from its beginning has empha- 
sized the oriental influence, and nearly three years ago it 
printed Mr. Pound's translation (from Fenollosa's notes) 
of An Exile's Letter, by Li Po facts which the Digest 
forgets to mention. Also POETRY from the first has been 
urging upon occidental poets the qualities for which the 
Digest now praises the Chinese simplicity, immediacy, un- 
pretentiousness, etc. "The wonder is, why no European 
poet has ever written thus," it exclaims, and continues, 
quoting from the Times: 

The difference seems to be that the Chinese poet hardly knows he 
is one. "The great poets of Europe, in their themes and their lan- 
guage, insist that they are poets " what they do is accompanied 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

with "a magnificent gesture; but the Chinese poet starts talking in 
the most ordinary language and voice of the most ordinary things, 
and his poetry seems to happen suddenly out of the commonplace as 
if it were some beautiful action happening in the routine of actual 

How often we have urged the poets to forget the "mag- 
nificent gesture," to talk "in ordinary language of ordinary 
things!" How persistently we have declined the "O thou" 
and "lo and behold" kind of poetry, the poems on grandil- 
oquent and remote subjects, sprinkled with forsooths, erst- 
whiles, eftsoons, and all the worn-out machinery of rhymed 

As an admirable reinforcement of principles no modern 
poet can afford to neglect, we can not do better than quote, 
like the Digest,-irom the enthusiasic writer in the Times: 

It is the peculiar art of Chinese poets not to arouse any expecta- 
tion in us by their method of address. European poets have the 
ambition to make an orchestra out of language; but the Chinese 
seem to play on a penny whistle, and then suddenly, with a shy 
smile, to draw the most wonderful thin music out of it. Any one 
could do it, they seem to say; and they convince us that poetry is 
not a rare and exotic luxury, but something that happens in life 
itself, something that one needs only to watch for and record. They 
are passive to this poetry of reality; they take it in and then give 
it out again, without insisting that it is their own achievement, with- 
out wishing us to be impressed with the momentousness of their 
passions or the depth of their sorrows. And for them there is no class 
of poetic events; they are the most utter realists, but not on principle 
or in any reaction from the romantic. Nothing is common or unclean 
to them, and they have the innocence of paradise with the sensitive- 
ness of an old and exquisite civilization. They have ideas; but ideas 
have not made them blind to things; rather they see things more 
vividly in the light of ideas. . . . 

Our poets seem often to be looking away out of their own lives 
into some distance of the past. Po Chu-i finds all his wonder in his 
own life;- it is on the ground he treads and not in the blue, far-away 


Back to China 

mountains, and it is in the language, the images, of ordinary life. 
Yet it is never prosaic in the bad sense, never subdued to the routine 
of life or ill-natured with mere discontent. He and the other Chinese 
poets do not complain of the world that it is stupid and hostile. 
Their business is to surprise the beauty of the world and to be sur- 
prised by it. They are like good craftsmen who make lovely things 
out of objects of use by shaping them, not by ornament. And there 
is for them a likeness, not a romantic contrast, between human life 
and the beauty of nature. 

The Times article is an appreciation of Mr. Waley's 
translations of Chinese poems, which have been printed in 
the Little Review and POETRY, and issued, some of them, in 
a bulletin of the Oxford School of Oriental Studies. 

A writer in the Smart Set, no doubt Mr. Mencken, is 
more appreciative than the Times and the Digest of Mr. 
Pound's work in this direction. He says : 

Pound and Eunice Tietjens, the former in Lustra and the latter in 
Profiles from China, offer poetical evidence of that belated discovery 
of the Chinese spirit which has already had its influence in decora- 
tion. . . . Pound himself gets something of the true Chinese 
simplicity, the Chinese skill at image-making, the Chinese dignity 
and delicacy, into his transcriptions. And Mrs. Tietjens, though she 
never drops the Caucasian robe, nor even that of the frank tourist, 
yet gives us a glimpse of the unfathomable romance and mystery of 
old China in her disorderly pieces. Both poets war upon the com- 
monplace, the obvious, the stale. 

Anyone who has been long enough in China to note in the 
national mind and attitude toward life a certain combina- 
tion of whimsicality and exquisiteness, begins to suspect that 
every Chinese writes poetry, that but for the barrier of lan- 
guage one's head-boy or one's neighbor's cook would stand 
revealed as a lyrist of thrush-like purity. Perhaps, however, 
this hope might be disappointed, for today is not as the past 
in China. But in the poetry of the great dynasties there 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

must be that same quality of ineffable beauty which is found 
in paintings, sculptures, potteries, from Chou to Sung 
nay, even in the Temple of Heaven of the Manchu con- 
querors of Peking. This quality goes far to cheapen all 
occidental art whom did it not strike with divine despair 
during the recent exhibition, at the Chicago Art Institute, of 
Chinese masterpieces of the great ages chosen by Charles L. 
Freer of Detroit that generous servant of beauty from 
the wonderful collection which he is making for the people 
of the United States! Alas that Diirer and Michel Angelo 
could not have wandered there ! H. M. 



Others, An Anthology of the New Verse, edited by Alfred 

Kreymborg. Alfred A. Knopf. 

A new Others anthology! This time the editor has not 
limited his choice, as in the 1916 compilation, to material 
which first appeared in the magazine Others, but has drawn 
from several periodicals including The Masses, The Egoist, 
The Little Review, and four of the poetry magazines. 
There is also another change of policy : fewer poets are rep- 
resented, so that each one may have more space. The first 
anthology had thirty-five names, this one has seventeen: five 
women Mary Carolyn Davies, Jeanne D'Orge, Helen 
Hoyt, Mina Loy, Marianne Moore; and twelve men 
Messrs. Arensburg, Bodenheim, Cannell, Eliot, Johns, 
Kreymborg, O'Neil, Rodker, Sanborn, Sandburg, Stevens, 


Anthologies and Translations 

and Williams. The only name new to Others is David 

You do not expect friends to change in a little over a 
year and a half. Mr. Bodenheim, Mr. Cannell, Miss 
Davies, have the same flavors to be tasted as before. Mr. 
Sanborn has become less interesting. Orrick Johns offers 
new Songs of Deliverance, but they lack some of the aplomb 
of the earlier ones, and nothing could quite take the place of 
his Olives in the first anthology. T. S. Eliot pictures the 
moods of dingy furnished-rooms "with smells of steak in 
passage ways" instead of the Boston Evening Transcript 
elegance one might look for. And Mina Loy has strangely 
turned understandable and less fragmentary though still 
scorning the use of punctuation marks. 

We are glad Marianne Moore's There is a great amount 
of poetry in unconscious fastidiousness was included in this 
book. It is a fascinating thing, and unlike anyone but Mari- 
anne Moore, as all her poems are. But some of her pieces 
are too compact and keen too "fastidious" for comfort. 
Jeanne D'Orge also is distinct, never echoes, and while 
seemingly at opposite poles in temperament and style from 
Marianne Moore, these two have in common a satirical 
power, and humor; in which Mina Loy also shares. 

From the editor himself several new poems appear, as 
fine as any he has written. Berceuse Ariettes is a picture of 
honeymoon housekeeping, most charming. From the Wil- 
liams group a reader of the magazine misses that sharply 
etched and delighting Portrait of a Lady in Bed and also the 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Persian Cat. The "lady" in bed and the Persian cat be- 
haved as nature, rather than the convenience of society, dic- 
tated, and perhaps success is making Others proper: success 
often does that, 

Wallace Stevens shows variety of interest and manner, 
and originality in experiment. The poem about Saint Ur- 
sula, and the one called Explanation are less sure in touch 
than the others. There is not much of the new poetry that 
mouths well, but this, The Worms at Heavens Gate, is rich 
on the tongue: 

Out of the tomb we bring Badroulbadour 
Within our bellies we her chariot. 
Here is an eye; and here are, one by one, 
The lashes of that eye and its white lid. 
Here is the cheek on which that lid declined; 
And finger after finger; here, the hand, 
The genius of that cheek. Here are the lips, 
The bundle of the body and the feet. . . . 
Out of the tomb we bring Badroubadour. 

Walter Conrad Arensburg, who told us in the last anthol- 
ogy of "the swan existing," has abandoned, we surmise, his 
Voyage a I'Infini for a voyage in the fourth dimension. 
Here follows the Arithmetical Progression of the Verb "To 

On a sheet of paper 

dropped with the intention of demolishing 


by the simple subtraction of a necessary plane 
Draw a line that leaves the present 

in addition 

carrying forward to the uncounted columns 
of the-spatial ruins 
now considered as complete 

the remainder of the past. 


Anthologies and Translations 

The act of disappearing 

which in the three-dimensional 

is the fate of the convergent 

is thus 

under the form of the immediate 
arrested in a perfect parallel 

of being 

in part. 

This is the most intelligible of the poems by Mr. Arens- 
burg, and therefore a good one to begin on. I believe I have 
arrived at an understanding of it, and if some other reader 
gets any one of the other five I shall be glad to exchange 
assistance. Often it is only necessary to be given the clue 
to a seemingly unintelligible poem for it to assume immedi- 
ately full meaning. Such a poem is the one in this book by 
Carl Sandburg entitled Others, Fantasia for Muskmelon 

Ivory domes . . . white wings beating in empty space . . . 
Nothing doing . . . nuts . . . bugs ... a regular absolute 

humpty-dumpty business . . . pos-i-tive-ly . . . 

falling off walls and no use to call doctor, 

lawyer, priest ... no use, boy, no use. 

O Pal of Mine, O Humpty Dumpty, shake hands with me. 
O Ivory Domes, I am one of You: 

Let me in. 

For God's sake let me in. 

This was the answer to an invitation. There was to be 
a gathering of the contributors to Others in the summer of 
1916 in the muskmelon days and the jovial Carl's ac- 
ceptance was the above fantasia. A "regular absolute 
humpty-dumpty business" expresses well the general ver- 
dict at that time on the Others magazine and group; but 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

those who shook their heads are now growing used to the 
new verse, and they will feel less bewildered with this vol- 
ume than with the first one. David O'Neil's delicate carv- 
ings, John Rodker's picture of the lovers playing with the 
croquet ball in the garden and his Spring Suicide; and many 
more of the poems, are directly enough in line with the 
accepted traditions for anyone to like them who has come 
into sympathy with the new verse at all. That the whole 
book will be a treasury for those who admire the Ivory 
Domes may be assured. H. H. 

The Answering Voice One Hundred Love Lyrics by 

Women, selected by Sara Teasdale. Houghton Mifflin 


Those who will receive this book the most eagerly are 
feminists and lovers. The feminist may find that she is 
disappointed, or, rather, that she cannot quite tell whether 
she is disappointed or not. Surely the poems are of fine 
quality, for the whole sex to take pride in what did she 
expect of a collection of love-poems by women? and may 
the lack of what is missing be charged against the editor, or 
against woman herself? It is still too early in woman's 
dawning day of expression for many questions to be an- 
swered. Neither of herself nor of love does she tell us in 
this book anything that we could not have learned in a book 
of love-poems by men. A larger amount of material, or ma- 
terial of greater variety, might have let her tell more. 

The editor's definition of lyric is narrower, perhaps, than 
poems are usually measured to. The volume is made up 


Anthologies and Translations 

almost exclusively of pieces regular in form. There are 
only two or three in free verse, although good love poems 
have been written in that mood. And always the poems 
are delicate, in mood as well as texture ; although woman is 
not always delicate. There are no poems of rebellion against 
love, against the hampering it works or against its compul- 
sion. Love is a Terrible Thing may be excepted, but here 
too the expression is almost too dainty. There is one poem 
taunting a man with his unworthiness to be loved, but 
never any mood of arraignment toward love or toward man 
in general. The book is perfectly entitled, and perhaps the 
tide in its turn put constraint upon the selection of content. 
One regrets that none 6f the compiler's own songs are in- 
cluded. H. H. 

Poems of Heinrich Heine, Selected and Translated by Louis 

Untermeyer. Henry Holt & Co. 

Mr. Untermeyer's selection does justice to Heine's range; 
the translation itself may be fairly tested by: 

First, Ich kam von meiner Herrin Haus, from Die Traum- 
bilder. This is Heine's Spoon River bit. It has a roman- 
tic glamour adequate to ghosts who gibber woeful tales, a 
compelling atmosphere of a lyric graveyard. The tales lose 
their horror and hence the poetry its shiver in this transla- 
tion. Lack of space forbids a verbal parallel of the two 

Second, Die Nordsee, a strenuous test of any translator, 
invites several comparisons, which cannot be made in a brief 
review. Mr. Untermeyer's interpretation of this sea poem 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

makes one wish he had keener insight into the many subtle 
identities between German and English. The two lan- 
guages have too many root intergrowths to justify (that is, 
if a translation is to retain the essence of the original) Mr. 
Untermeyer's too free rendering of a poem which is at once 
the one high-wrought piece of Heine and the sure proof of 
his small command of really great poetry. 

The third type of lyric the patriotic will illustrate how 
this too free rendering of the German not only does not 
make for vigor in English, it totally mispresents Heine's 
meaning. To illustrate the translator's method here is one 
stanza of Germany, a poem which should be quoted entire 
as it is a sinister prophecy though the poet may have been 
unaware of it: 

Germany's still a little child: 
The sun's her nurse, she'll feed him 
No soothing milk to make him strong, 
But the wild fires of freedom, 

This is the German of the third and fourth verses: 

Sie saugt es nicht mit stiller Milch, 
Sie saugt es mit wilder Flamme. 

Poem after poem might be shown turned in this way from 
its real meaning by a too loose rendering. A translator 
should translate. 

One wishes that Mr. Untermeyer had, given instead of 
all these poems a searching criticism of Heine. Heine is 
a force in poetry of a certain kind. None knew better than 
he how to distil the verse of others into his own. No poet 
better demonstrates the evil of being too facile. This is 


Anthologies and Translations 

why in reading Heine entire one comes to care for his 
prose more than for his poetry. Much of his poetry trans- 
lates well into prose, and as a translator Heine himself is 
a success. His Byron pieces in German are better than 
Byron. There is in Heine, too, an American interest which 
as yet has not been fully noted. Heine was not only read by 
American poets at the time when many of them were flow- 
ering in the thirties, forties and fifties he was absorbed 
by them. This was the period when German was the second 
tongue of educated Americans, and it was Heine's ready verse, 
his Ltebkosen sentiment, easily read, easily adopted, with which 
they weakened their own poetry. Mr. Untermeyer's intro- 
duction is a start for a real controversy as to Heine's worth 
as a poet. There are many reasons why he is not a great 
poet; his lyric sweetness is too often only sweetish, and his 
lyric cry is never anything but a personal hurt, or at best 
only what he himself called his Westostliche Spleen. 

Ellen Fitzgerald 


Glad of Earth, by Clement Wood. Laurence Gomme. 
Main Street and Other Poems, by Joyce Kilmer. George 

H. Doran Co. 

With the War has come to all the want, sudden where 
it did not exist before, emphatic where it did, of intenser 
realization of life; and the problems and aspirations that 
are Mr. Wood's themes, on which he plays with insufficient 
or unconvincing mastery, and the fancies and sentiments 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Mr. Kilmer has chosen to sing, with a simplicity of style 
that almost exasperates, seem pale by the light of what have 
become common hopes and fears. There is little peace, even 
in Main Street; and to quarrel with Social Doctors and to 
slap mayors vigorously on the back, seem unworthy futile 
things to do. The world is out of tune with songs that 
yesterday might have charmed or quickened it. The pity 
of these books is chiefly that they were born beyond their 
time. Magic potency they have none to cheat this nightmare 
present; their virtue is rather one that requires whole heart- 
edness on the part of the reader to become effectual, and 
the reader's heart is out of him and "over there." But of 
both poets the critic faculty may observe that their utterance, 
at its best Mr. Wood's in New Roads and Mr. Kilmer's in 
The Proud Poet does possess "a past of experience and a 
future of power." 

Mr. Kilmer is already at the front, in Flanders, or in 
France; although he has a growing family, he was one of 
the first to volunteer. That gesture is worthy many a vol- 
ume, and to such a poet the experience of war cannot but 
prove ennobling and enriching. We pray, as for victory, 
that he may return to us having tasted, in the sleep between 
battles, the "milk of Paradise." As for Mr. Wood, we 
know his lyric restlessness and do not imagine him asleep 
over the laurels the city of Newark grew for him; but, 
fully awake to the spectacle of these tremendous years, ris- 
ing to the full measure of his day. 

Salomon de la Selva 




The difficulty of getting progressive work done through 
academic channels is illustrated by a recent episode at the 
University of Chicago. 

A year ago some patron of generous intentions presented 
a fund for the securing of lectures from "leaders of thought" 
outside the institution, the fund yielding an income of about 
$1,500 a year. By way of further distinguishing the endow- 
ment, and of honoring at the same time the memory of a poet 
whose work had honored the university, the faculty entitled 
the course the William Vaughn Moody Memorial Lectures. 

This title seemed to give the projected lectures a slant 
toward modern poetry, and th^e more progressive members 
of the English department, including a high-hearted Poetry 
Club of students, felt confident that now at last the art which 
Mr. Moody followed would be fitly recognized in the person 
of one or more distinguished living poets of America or 

Apparently, however, no one especially interested in mod- 
ern poetry has been allowed any voice in the selection of 
lecturers. A committee, consisting of the head professors of 
Greek and of history and an associate professor of English, 
affronted Mr. Moody's memory by inviting Alfred Noyes to 
give the initial lecture. The result was what might have 
been expected ; as one of the professors of English remarked 
the next day to his class, "the lecture was a marvellous exhi- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

bition of what a man of some reputation can do to an un- 
offending audience and get away with it." 

The second leader of thought chosen to enlighten the 
university and absorb some of the $1,500, was the humorist 
Stephen Leacock, who sadly upset at least one member of the 
committee by ruling the classics out of court. By way of 
reprisal for this sacrilegious act, the third lecturer invited by 
the learned committee was that safe-and-sane upholder of all 
formulas, Paul Elmer More. 

That was last season's record the best that a great uni- 
versity could do with its chance to enlighten or stir up its 
students and the community. This year the committee's ut- 
most has been to engage another English poet, Mr, Gibson, 
an advance over Mr. Noyes, and Wm. Lyon Phelps, hardly 
an advance over Mr. More. 

Meantime the students are up in arms. One of them 
writes in the Maroon : 

That there is a widespread interest in poetry among the students 
cannot be questioned in view of the prize contest recently conducted 
by the Poetry Club. This is not an interest in anachronistic Victo- 
rians nor conservative critics, but an interest in modern poetry which 
demands the assistance and inspiration which only representative 
modernists can supply. 

The Poetry Club, under the handicap of a lack of funds, is at- 
tempting to bring a few representative poets before university audi- 
ences and may perhaps succeed in a very limited degree, but, in the 
meantime, who can wonder if we protest against an unpardonable 
waste of a memorial fund in a manner which many of us cannot 
help feeling is a desecration? 

H. M. 



Senor Jose Santos Chocano, the Peruvian poet, is sufficiently in- 
troduced in the article by his translator, Prof. John Pierrepont 
Rice, who is a member of the faculty of Williams College. 
Senor Chocano has been for some time in this country, and he read 
some of his poems to the Poetry Society of America at their Decem- 
ber meeting in the National Arts Club, New York. 

Mr. Arthur Waley's work in the translation of Chinese poetry 
is also referred to editorially. The first series of these translations 
was printed last month. 

Miss Louise Driscoll, of Catskill, N. Y., received POETRY'S prize 
for a war poem, in November, 1914, with her one-act drama 
Metal Checks. 

Of the four Chicago poets represented, to the editor's surprise, 
in this number, only one is a new adventurer into these pages Mr. 
Ben Hecht, well known as a contributor of prose to Smart Set and 
other magazines, a writer of plays, sometimes in collaboration, 
produced by certain of the little theatres, and a member of the staff 
of the Chicago Daily News. 

Mr. Maurice Browne, though English .by v birth and early resi- 
dence, has been for five years director of the Chicago Little 
Theatre, now unfortunately closed. Mr. Max Michelson has been 
a frequent contributor to the more advanced poetry magazines and 
the London Egoist. Lucy Eddy (Mrs. Arthur J. Eddy) has pub- 
lished little as yet. 



Imaginaires, by Pierre de Lanux. L'Edition Romane, Paris. 
Narcissus and Other Poems, by Blance Shoemaker Wagstaff. Jas. 

T k White, New York. 
Common Men and Women, by Harold W. Gammans. Four Seas 

Co., Boston. 

Star Drift, by Brian Padraic O'Seasnain. Four Seas Co. 
In the Paths 'of the Wind, by Glenn Ward Dresbach. Four Seas 


In the Red Years, by Gerve Baronti. Four Seas Co. 
Nocturne of Remembered Spring and Other Poems, by Conrad 

Aiken. Four Seas Co. 
Songs of the Celtic Past, by Norreys Jephson O'Conor. John Lane 



POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Gardens Overseas and Other Poems, by Thomas Walsh. John 

Lane Co. 
The Closed Door, by Jean De Bosscnere. Illustrated by the Author, 

with a Translation by F. S. Flint and an Introduction by May 

Sinclair. John Lane Co. 

The Moods of Ginger Mick, by C. J. Dennis. John Lane Co. 
Elegy in Autumn in Memory of Frank Dempster Sherman, by 

Clinton Scollard. Privately Printed, New York. 
Earth of Cualann, by Joseph Campbell, with 21 Designs by the 

Author. Maunsel & Co., Dublin. 

Al Que Quiere, by William Carlos Williams. Four Seas Co. 
Sonnets and Other Lyrics, by Tobert Silliman Hillyer. Harvard 

Univ. Press. 

Reed Voices, by James B. Kenyon. Jas. T. White & Co. 
One Who Dreamed, by Arthur Crew Inman. Four Seas Co. 
The Soul of America, by Robert M. Wernaer. Four Seas Co. 
The Last Blackbird and Other Lines, by Ralph Hodgson. Macmil- 

lan Co. 
Trackless Regions, by G. O. Warren. B. H. Blackwell, Oxford, 


Poems, by Carroll Aikins. Sherman, French & Co. 
Songs of the Heart and Soul, by Joseph Roland Piatt. Sherman, 

French & Co. 

Green Fruit, by John Peale Bishop. Sherman, French & Co. 
The Hill Trails, by Arthur Wallace Peach. Sherman, French & Co. 
A Voice from the Silence, by Anna B. Bensel, with an Introduc- 
tion by Bishop Brent. Sherman, French & Co. 
A Banjo at Armageddon, by Berton Braley. Geo. H. Doran Co. 
Song Drops, by Louise Hart. Privately printed, Columbus, Ga. 
When the Baby Cries at Night and Other Poems, by James M. 

Woodman. Privately printed, Waukegan, 111. 
Silence and True Love, by J. Brookes More. Thrash-Lick Pub. 

Co., Fort Smith, Ark. 


The Defenders of Democracy Contributions from Representative 
Men and Women of Letters and Other Arts from our Allies and 
Our Own Country. Edited by the Gift Book Committee of The 
Militia of Mercy. John Lane Co. 

A Book of Yale Review Verse, with a Foreword by the Editors. 
Yale Univ. Press. 

The Book of New York Verse. Edited by Hamilton Fish Arm- 
strong. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

Danae, by Fdward Storer. Athene Press, Rome, Italy. 




MARCH, 1918 


A Dance-play for Poem-mimes 

SCENE A dense and dusky wood which surrounds a wil- 
low leaning over a pool. Sun-splotches penetrate the 
shadows. An old figure is seated on a low stone ledge at the 
right of the pool. Pie is dressed in a simple hooded robe, 
and he speaks with a detached air, like one who improvises, 
occasionally caressing a small hidden instrument, or drum, 
with exquisite haphazard rhythms. Later a girl and boy 
enter, simply dressed in thin flowing garments of vivid color. 
They, and afterwards a second boy, act the improvisation of 
the figure in a dance or pantomime which discloses a series 
of unconscious poses, naive, awkward, uncertain, shy. They 
appear to be the physical embodiment of the thought-play of 
the figure. He is unseen by them, but it is evident that they 
can hear him, most of the time, separately. It is question- 
able whether the figure can see them. A clear unity of the 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

vague elements of scene and lights, speech and silences, poses 
and pantomime, is observed throughout the play. At the 
rise of the curtain, the figure is alone. 

The Figure: 

Only when the willow nods 
Does the water nod; 
Only when the wind nods 
Does the willow nod ; 
Only when a cloud nods 
Does the wind nod : 
And, of course, nod 
Rhymes with God. . . . 

{The girl wanders in; looks up at the willow; approaches 
the water; kneels.] 

Better that you look 

Lovely, than that you are 

Lovely. Yes, oh yes, touch your blouse, touch your 

When he comes, touch your cheeks with the pink that 


But his glance will do more for your look than these. 
[Indefinite poses of self-contemplation. The first boy 
wanders in, carrying a small basket.] 
Your least shy look 
Recreates folk to your image. 
Not that they know what your image is, 
Nor that they care, but won't you look at him ? 


Alfred Kreymborg 

He'd like to look like you 

Then you'll love him? . . . 

[Rapture holds the boy; he sets the basket on the ground. 
The girl stiffens into another pose.] 

She has made cups of her hands; 

She holds them, palms waiting, under her breasts. 

If you look still higher, you may see 

Three more cups her mouth, her eyes. 

Brave lad, can you resist so many ? 

[The boy's ecstasy crumbles to excitement as the girl looks 
fit him vaguely .] 

What can you what should you what shall you 

So so only so only she'll . . . 

What can you what should you what shall you 
swear ? 

Could I let you give her the earth or a tree 

Lend you something more than you, more than me? 

How can you, how should you how else could you 

Make her, urge her to have her say, whisper, 

Breathe breathe she breathe that she ... 

What can you what should you what shall you do? 

You might jump jump off and never come back! 

And she she only she only say no! . . . 
[The girl looks at the boy, clearly. She moves from the 
water. He follows. She stops beyond the willow. He 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Do you feel him a thing of silk now you can hear 

Must you be always tearing his flesh 

With your eyes, and your silence? 

Put a quick finger on one of his pores, touch it at 

Or he will fall, bloodless, at your feet, 

And leave you nobody. 

You wouldn't enjoy turning ghoul? 

Faun girl, you are beautiful 

Be kind to yourself. . . . 

[The girl starts toward the boy; permits him gradually 
and gently to caress her.] 

Place your cool mouth to his. 

Press hard and long. 

There will come opening 

Things which have never sung before : 

Things even you will never understand; nor he. 

Turn your large eyes to his. Enter. 

You will see what you heard and the mystery grow. 

At the last, bring your curious touch to his. 

Hands move to the breeze. . . . 

[Frightened, the girl draws away, and suddenly disappears. 
Awed, the boy cannot follow her] 

She loves you ? 

And who are you who are you that she should ? 

Don't ask me that ask tiny questions. 

She of the yellow hair, she of the cool green eyes, 


Alfred Kreymborg 

She of the queer red mouth I know whom you mean. 

Come, lad, tell me more about her, don't be afraid. 

She loves you ? so you said. 

Let's sit on the grass; it gives so pleasantly. 

Now we can talk. She loves you ? 

But let's talk, talk about her ! 

You can't? Neither can I ... 

Away, away from this place 

There's a pond past these trees. 

Let's steal to a boat, a long eerie boat, 

And drift to the water-lilies: 

Pink, blue or white, lilies are quiet thoughts. 

We won't break them for her; we don't have to. 

Eh? She loves you? Poor boy, 

Are you so happy you're sad? 

That's right, shut your eyes. 

Wake you when we reach the lilies? 

I'll try, I'll try. 
[The boy is goneJ] 

She loves you. 

I can assure you now you're asleep. 

Dream, boy, lilies will wake you, pink, blue or white. 

No matter the color, no harm can come: she loves you. 

Trees, too, are innocent entities. 

Sap sings through them in time with the weather. 

One can see they care little about their fellows, 

Though they do have a way 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Of waving branches to each other. 

For themselves, they have a way of nodding pleasantly. 

Also of trying on dresses near a rain glass or a snow 


Also of staying where they happen to be. ... 
There are folk who doubt whether they care at all. 
It would be mean though 
To censure trees they're trees. . . . 
[The lovers come running upon the scene, he chasing her. 
He throws the basket aside; buttercups fall out.] 
What animals you are ! 
Or whether you are 
Animals, I am too dumb to tell. 
Some moments, I feel you've come out of the earth, 
Out of some cool white stone deep down in the earth. 
Or there brushes past and lurks in a corner 
The thought that you slipped from a tree 
When the earth stopped spinning, 
That a blue shell brought you 
When the sea tired waltzing. 
You might be two mice, 
The dryads of woodpeckers, 
Or a pure tiny fish dream. 

You might be something dropped f torn the sky ; 
Not god-children I wouldn't have you that 
Nor clouds, though I love clouds. 
You're something not birds, I can tell. 
If I could find you somewhere outside 


Alfred Kreymborg 

Of me, I might tell 

But inside? . . . 

[The boy catches the girl; she no longer resists; he kisses 

Said the Mother: 

She is lovely. 

Her mouth is red. 

Give her a kiss 

She wants it. 

And when you are through 

Give her another! 

But you don't understand? 

Why should you? . . . 

[Exhausted, the girl draws away. The boy reluctantly 
builds her a throne of fallen leaves. She sits down; he 
hands her the buttercups, and some colored scarfs.] 

Do not make her so happy 

That when the time comes to make her unhappy 

She will be so unhappy she will die, lad. 

Can't you be cross with her? 

Can't you fail to bring her those buttercups? 

Can't you twang somewhere else now and then ? 

She'll love you the more? 

Then hers is the crime if she dies! 

It isn't? Whose is it? 

Better make her unhappy at once! 

You can't? Well 

I don't know what you should do ... 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

[The girl, possibly sated with attention, stretches out on 
the leaves. The boy watches her; comes closer; seems doubt- 
ful; stops. Then he sits down near her. Something holds 
him still; something else draws him still closer.] 

She wears no scarf over her hair, 

No mask over her eyes, over her mouth. 

Nor do you ask her to: thus, you love her. 

Nor do you see veils round her breasts, 

Veils down her limbs. 

Ask you to ? I speak to a stone. 

You love her, thus . . . 

[The girl is startled. The boy touches her. She looks at 
him, rouses herself, gets up. He turns aside. She moves 
away. He does not follow her.] 

If he were sober 

He would love you as you wish to be loved, 

And as he would love you 

If his muddled thought of you were clear of desire. 

It is sad that one so young should be drunken so soon, 

But had you not answered him, 

Had you not answered him . . . 

I know, I know 

It wasn't your fault. . . . 
[Slowly the lovers depart in opposite directions.] 

May the sun blink open your eyes 

And find the room within all blue, 

And that tiny broken relic 

Of the night's unhappiness 


Alfred Kreymborg 

Vanish like a moth. 

You will see : no bird 

Can fly more swiftly away . . . 

Again, under the spell 

Of these warm-scented troubadour winds, 

Brushing winter's convent with insinuating madrigals, 

Those novices, the trees, 

Clicking their crooked black needles, 

Are knitting lace is it yellow, is it green? 

Timid in pattern, as clouds are, 

What with their dropping of stitches. 

Later, grown almost heretic 

Through warmth of their own, 

Or under the foolish persuasion 

That beauty can add to beauty, and hold beauty, 

One or two will work in patches of flowers . . . 

Once again, the troubadours 

Some sated, some broken-hearted 

Will slip away, and the convent be as before. 

Maybe the Mother Superior 

Frowns them off. . . . 

[The boy enters, dejectedly. His movements are indeter- 
minate, but he stops near the willow J\ 

You are so straight and still 

What does it mean ? 

Are you concerned in the tops of you now 

With sky matters and winter butterflies? 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Do not the leaves you colored trouble you longer ? 

Try and recall! 

Try and recall: 

Over this path she used to tread her way, 

Over there he used to throne them for her : 

Green, brown, red, yellow! 

Did you look at me? 

Did you say something? . . . 

[The boy departs. The girl enters, dejectedly. She sits 
down near the scattered remains of the throne.] 

Girl, is the sap in you tired 

That you no longer resist the wind? 

Did you feel the rain, 

The rain that was here in the night? 

You aren't old what then ? 

Another rain may be lighter? 

Even if it isn't no? . . . 
[A silence.] 

She loved her love for him. 

But ask her how it died, she will cry, 

His faults came and stabbed it. 

Over the tomb she has scrolled, 

"My love for him is dead, but my love lives on." 

And her love carries white flowers 

To what was her love for him. 

[The second boy enters. He looks at the girl. But as the 
figure continues, the boy passes aimlessly through.] 


Alfred Kreymborg 

Beware, lad. 

There's a lane of cherry trees 
On the turn from his grave. 
Don't look at her, 
Or you'll be plucking blossoms 
In blossom time, blossoms being pink, 
Or cherries in cherry time, cherries being red. 
And seeing they're a pretty variation from the white, 
Her love will carry them 
To what was her love for him. . . . 
[The girl has not seen the second boy. She leaves the 
wood. A silence.] 

Only when the willow nods 
Does the water nod; 
Only when the wind nods 
Does the willow nod; 
Only when a cloud nods 
Does the wind nod: 
And, of course, nod 
Rhymes with God . . . 
[Slow curtain.] 

Alfred Kreymborg 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 



The headwaiter says: 

"Nice day to-day!" 

He smiles sentimentally. 

The headwaiter says : 

"It will rain to-day!" 

He frowns gracefully. 

Those are the greetings, every morning, 

To every old lady, 

And every old gent, 

And every old rogue, 

And every young couple 

To every guest. 

And I, who do not sleep, who wait and watch for the dawn, 

One day I would come down to the world. 

I would have a trumpet as powerful as the wind, 

And I would trumpet out to the world 

The splendid commonplace : 

"Nice day to-day!" 

And another day I would cry out in despair, 

"It will rain to-day!" 

For every old lady, 

And every old gent, 

And every old rogue, 

And every young couple 

Are they not guests in this hotel, 


Emanuel Carnevali 

Where the ceiling is the sky 
And the floor is the earth, 
And the rooms are the houses ? 

But I, I this wretched, tired thing 
May I ask for a job 
As headwaitcr 
Of this hotel? 


Half past seven in the morning 

And the sun winks at me, 

Half hidden by the last house of the street. 

His long fingers 

Scare away these trotting little men 

Who rush westward from the east to their jobs. 

Laughing, the sun pursues them . . . 

Ah, there he is! 

Who? . . . The letter-carrier, of course! 

(What do you think I got up so early for?) 

You never see him run 

He is so proud 

Because he's got my happiness in that dirty bag : 

He's got a kiss from my sweetheart, 

Some money for me to buy some food, 

And a white, nice collar. 

That's why he's so conceited, 

That's why he wants to show 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

That he doesn't know the sun is behind him, 

That the laughing sun is behind him 

Pushing him along to make him bring me my happiness 

A kiss from my sweetheart, 

Some money to buy some food and a clean collar, 

And a letter from an editor that says: 

"You're a great poet, young man!" 

Damn it! I guess he heard me raving about him: 
He passed by my door and didn't even turn around. 
What shall I do, what shall I do? 

Oh, never mind tomorrow, tomorrow! 


Through the lowered awning's chink 

The sun enters my room with the glad fury 

Of a victorious dagger wielded by an adventurous child. 

I smoke: 

On the blade of the golden dagger 

The smoke of my cigarette 

Writhes, struggles, seems to wail and protest, 

Then escapes, runs away, hurriedly, out of the window. 

It meets the sun 

This blue, dream-fed smoke meets the sun. 

The sun has no dream 

Perhaps it is Truth itself, 

So beautiful! 


Emanuel Carnevali 

Then it's wrong, very wrong, 

To puff my dream in the radiant face of Truth? 

Is it blasphemous, cowardly? 

Is it to insult the Sun? 


Love I thought it was a long ride in a boat 

Over a quiet lake: around 

The weeping willows let fall their hair 

Into the water; 

And amid those hairs, the rays 

Which the sun had forgotten to take with him going away 

Were of indigo-rose-purple-blue. 

But now that it has passed I know it was a stream 

That swept by roaring, destroying all, all. 

In my soul, all that is left is a shrub 

That sways and waves at the wind like the hair of a witch, 

That whistles and curses the wind like the ghastly arm of a 

witch : 
The remembrance. 


Essences of the peoples' beautiful selves, 

Violins whose strings quiver 

With long, soft, delicate harmonies 

Even when touched by the world's rough fingers, 

Even when touched by Grief's cold ringers 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Think of the day when you, sleeping in your graves, 
Shall be awakened by the thunder of your own voices 
And by the strong, cool winds of your own music: 
For in the fertile soil of the years 
Your voices will blossom and become thunder, 
Your music will become winds that purify and create. 


Sweetheart, what's the use of you 

When the night is blue, 

And I'm sad with the whisper of the skies, 

And I'm heavy and I'm weary 

With my many lies ? 

There is no music around me 

Not a sound 

But the whisper of the skies: 

I am bound 

To my sadness with so slender, so thin ties 

Oh, so thin, still you can't break them. 

Sweetheart, what's the use of you ? 

And within me, what then pains, 

When it rains? 

Ah, the drops fall on the wound 

And it pains. 

For my soul's a naked wound, 

The rain-drops are salty tears. 

Are they tears of some great giant 

Who still fears, 


Emanuel Cornwall 

Just like me, 

For the morrows, for the things that passed away 

For the dead, dead yesterday? 

Sweetheart, what's the use of you? 

When the laughters are too few ; 

When the trees will no more sing 

For the wind ; 

When they wave their ghastly arms, 

Naked arms, 

In despair, arid no one heeds ; 

And my soul is like the reeds 

Stooping under the low wind 

Hopelessly like the reeds, 

Broken, that shall rise no more 

And sing softly as before 

For the wind has been too cruel 

And too strong. 

'Neath the snow, wet, lies the fuel : 

And the flame 

Of my laughter, of all laughters, 

Now is dying. Oh, for shame! 

All you promised that first day ! 

What'll you do for me, now, say, 

What'll you do for me? 

What's the use 

Of you, sweetheart, what's the use? 

Emanuel Carnevali 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Since I have loved you 

Every man I pass 

Goes by me with some hint of you: 

Some windy grace 

Of your swift movement through the crowd ; 

Some similarity of up-flung brow 

That lifts me with the thrill of mountains; 

Some glance of eyes, like yours, 

That whisper phraseless things. . . . 

Since I have loved you 

Every man I pass 

Goes by me with some hint of you. . . . 

Since I have loved you 

Are you all men? 

And has love made 

All men 



She is a little downy 


With eyes as quick as mirrors 

To give back what she sees. 


Susan M. Boogher 

And she has a sidelong way 

Of peeking in the corners 

Of Life's eyes 

As though she begged a chance 

To please, 

As though she promised 

To agree. 

She knows somehow the colors of the world 

Are fast: 

Chameleon of soul, she sets herself 

To acquiesce. 


I have forgotten 

My old grief 

Because you love me not; 

I have forgotten 

The slow rust 

Of loneliness upon my soul ; 

I have forgotten 

All my ways and woes of life; 

I have forgotten 

My life 


Susan M. Boogher 


POETRY: A Magazine of Vertt 


Sorrow can wait, 

For there is magic in the calm estate 
Of grief; lo, where the dust complies 
Wisdom lies. 

Sorrow can rest, 

Indifferent, with her head upon her breast ; 
Idle and hushed, guarded from fears; 
Content with tears. 

Sorrow can bide, 

With sealed lids and hands unoccupied. 
Sorrow can fold her latent might, 
Dwelling with night. 

But Sorrow will rise 

From her dream of sombre and hushed eternities. 

Lifting a Child, she will softly move 

With a mother's love. 

She will softly rise. 

Her embrace the dying will recognize, 
Lifting them gently through strange delight 
To a clearer light. 


No doubt this active will, 
So bravely steeped in sun, 


Gladys Cromwell 

This will has vanquished Death 
And foiled oblivion. 

But this indifferent clay, 
This fine experienced hand, 
So quiet, and these thoughts 
That all unfinished stand, 

Feel death as though it were 
A shadowy caress; 
And win and wear a frail 
Archaic wistfulness. 


This autumn afternoon 
My fancy need invent 
No untried sacrament. 
Man can still commune 
With Beauty as of old : 
The tree, the wind's lyre, 
The whirling dust, the fire 
In these my faith is told. 

Beauty warms us all; 
When horizons crimson burn, 
We hold heaven's cup in turn. 
The dry leaves gleaming fall, 
Crumbs of mystical bread; 
My dole of Beauty I break, 


POETRY: A Magazine of V erse 

Love to my lips I take, 
And fear is quieted. 

The symbols oi old are made new 
I watch the reeds and the rushes, 
The spruce trees dip their brushes 
In the mountain's dusky blue; 
The sky is deep like a pool ; 
A fragrance the wind brings over 
Is warm like hidden clover, 
Though the wind itself is cool. 

Across the air, between 

The stems and the grey things, 

Sunlight a trellis flings. 

In quietude I lean: 

I hear the lifting zephyr 

Soft and shy and wild ; 

And I feel earth gentle and mild 

Like the eyes of a velvet heifer. 

Love scatters and love disperses. 
Lightly the orchards dance 
In a lovely radiance. 
Down sloping terraces 
They toss their mellow fruits. 
The rhythmic wind is sowing, 
Softly the floods are flowing 
Between the twisted roots, 


Gladys Cromwell 

What Beauty need I own 

When the symbol satisfies? 

I follow services 

Of tree and cloud and stone. 

Color floods the world; 

I am swayed by sympathy; 

Love is a litany 

In leaf and cloud unfurled. 


There are twisted roots that grow 

Even from a fragile white anemone. 

But a star has no roots ; to and fro 

It floats in the light of the sky, like a water-lily, 

And fades on the blue flood of day. 

A star has no roots to hold it, 

No living lonely entity to lose. 

Floods of dim radiance fold it; 

Night and day their silent aura transfuse; 

But no change a star can bruise. 

A star is adrift and free. 

When day comes, it floats into space and complies ; 

Like a spirit quietly, 

Like a spirit, amazed in a wider paradise 

At mortal tears and sighs. 

Gladys Cromwell 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

On turgid, bellowing tramp the freshet rills, 

Heaped up with yellow wine, the winter's brew. 
Out-thrown, they choke and tumble from the hills, 

And lash their tawny bodies, whipping through. 
With flattened bells comes scudding purple rain; 

The cold sky breaks and drenches out the snow. 
Far from the perfect circle of the sky 

The heavy winds lick off the boughs they blow; 
And fields are cleansed for plows to slice again, 
For April shall laugh downward by and by. 

With purifying blasts the wind stalks out 

And sweeps the carrion of winter on; 
It prods the dank mists, stamps with jest about, 

And sows the first blooms on the greening lawn. 
Far up the planks of sky the winter's dross 

Goes driven to the north; her rank smells wave 

In unseen humors to the icy pole. 
The charwomen of the sky, with brushes, lave 
And wash the fields for green, and rocks for moss, 
And busily polish up the earth's dull soul. 

Edwin Curran 


Killed in the Aviation Service Feb. i$th t 1918. 

Dead dancer, how is this? the laurel here 

Upon your bier? 
The brazen wings, the sword and the shrill tone 

Of bugles blown? 

Why do you wear, light-footed one O proud! 

The flag for shroud ? 
Where have you danced? from what high-sphered dome 

Have you come home? 

Bravo! you trod the measure gallantly, 

Swiftly flew free! 
Goodbye perhaps your flight has just begun 

Under the sun. 

Harriet Monroe 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


America in shuffling crowds 
Pelted high-voiced goodbyes 
Upon the ragged troop train. 
Muddled sound of partings, 
An accent here and there acute, 
Popping, sudsy soap-sprays, 
A girl's bright dress, a frantic flag. 

America, shuffling, clattering 
To her high moment 
A swelter of faint calls, 
Upraised civilian arms, and then 
Curdy floculations of vague color 
Drifted about the boarded station-house, 
Upholding it like an ark, 
Ever more in the distance. 

L Company drifted crankily down the track, 
Entrained in hasty coupled cars 
For mobilization) 

And left there, behind, Democracy, 
Slack Democracy on the station boards; 
Left America clattering into emotion 
And shuffling heterogeneously home. 
"Emotional not spiritual," one said, 
Who, with Company L, saw 


Baker Brownell 

A new America somewhere, 
Waiting, unknowing the future. 


The sheet of the morning Tribune bent 
With thin crashing and clutters of sound. 
Tight hands held it; its fabric 
Rattled in fragile catastrophe. 

Sudden figures in the morning Tribune 
Three with sudden, significant being 
Among slight marks by thousands 
Strewing the page raised themselves 
In lustreless knobs, small, black, metallic, 
Above the dim paper breadth. 

A man, Woodby, saw three numerals 
That rose in dull, significant lumps 
From the creaking page of the Tribune. 
His own number! carved 
Of hard, stupid material they seemed. 

Woodby, drafted man, left 

His familiar papers, his thesis 

On an unfinished and ancient past, 

Forever, to learn the cold accuracy 

Of near material, of steel, of half-ounce bullets. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Sleep-soaked bodies are pried 
Out of the obese night; laziness, 
Yearning in porous flesh, 
Is squeezed as from a sponge. 

Silver tubes lifted upward by young buglers 

Spout glistening sound 

Upon the murk of early day. 

The sounds of first call 

Clink and glisten in the early air; 

Bright chips of sound tinkle and clash sweetly 

Like ice in the dusky water of an urn. 

Reveille and the murmur of men 
A murmurous cloud of dusk lifts 
From the earthen floor. A murmur 
Distant, huge, sweet with Being's joy, 
Rises from the awakening thousands 
Of earth-born bodies. 
The blare of regimental bands 
Hoists finally night's curtain 
With distant shattering. 


The world sweats 

In a bedding of throbbing, thick light ; 

Heat soaks like a bitter oil 

Into the texture of being; 


Baker Brownell 

Dust steams from the earth 

Under the feet of infantry 

And coats the air with minute fur. 

Along the smothered road men plod 

Between silent horizons, 

Between thin, yellow borders of the earth 

Pressed flat under a burden of light. 

Painted, vivid silence 

Waits along the desert's rim. 


Forbidden Mexico 

Four hundred yards away 

A drunken, tawny beast 

Slept across the southward path. 

"There shall no soldier go," 

The order was, "beyond 

The murky middle of the stream." 

Forbidden Mexico! 

Its drifting slopes 

Slid back into sun-hid distance. 

Its tawny skin, sleek 

With clean aridity, 

Lay unpunctured by man's growth. 

Four hundred yards away 

A thousand years could sink 

Into the gap between this river-bank and that. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


His back had the sabre's curve, 

Clean sitting on his mount. 

His words were winged words, steel-tipped, 

Loosed on drab men drilling. 

His was the drama of the harpoon 

Driving barbed oaths, driving deep 

Into drab men drilling 

On the battalion parade. 

The dynamic of the oath was his, 

Its knife energy, its thrust. 

At the third battalion Major Fitz 

Hurled personality-like bitter shrapnel. 


"It's an old gun," the major said, 

"But clean give him excellent;" 

And pushed the oil-scrubbed gun 

Back on private Freebourne's chest. 

"An old gun! Hell, yes!" said Freebourne, 

When he tried to turn it in 

To the Q. M. for a new one; 

"I put two hours a day on it." 

But Freebourne loved its steel ; 

He never took the other. 

Two hours on steel, man's metal, 

Till the inner twirl of bore 

Carried the light in gleaming gutters 


Baker Brownell 

Round, coiled round on itself. 

To lurch pointed bullets true 

A thousand yards. Two hours 

Testing the severe materiality of steel: 

Steel thought, steel calculation, 

Severe, absolute in hardness, 

Loyal to existence 

It could transcend sense sogginess and flesh. 

Two hours the soldier loved his steel, 

Its truth, its edge, 

Its fearlessness of fact, its bitterness of line, 

Its certainty and decision. 


Prisoner in life, Rausch, a private, 
Thumped at steel-clad existence 

Caught in the impassive tank 
Of the dull day, firm 
With a cool crust of metal 
Wrapped around his fluid soul, 
Rausch thumped and failed 
To break the riveting. 

Booze Rausch found one day 

At a small bar under Corrine's room, 

And soul found vent 

In a joyous spout. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Rausch was a gush 
Out of a windowless, dull tank; 
Soldier life, armor of discipline, 
The close tyranny of small events, 
Broke, and Rausch^full of booze, 
Spouted himself expressively. 

Rausch died of tremens one pay-day 
While rinding his legitimate soul. 


The wind soured into night. 
Acid of a narrow rain 
Pitted the sentries' paces 
With spits of cold. 

The wind grew in hoarse breaths 

With the night's age, 

Until the night was wind, 

And darkness spouted on the prone earth 

From the West's nozzle. 

Wind and night, roaring 
Like mated beasts, 
Pressed huge bodies 
On the bulging walls 
Of tied Sibley tents. 


Baker Brownell 

One by one the double-headed pegs 
Pulled with a souseling kiss 
From the rain-weak earth. 

A rope snapped; a wall flap 
Jumped; the tent heaved, 
Bulged upward 
With scared awkwardness, 
And fell on a broken tripod. 

The wind, night, rain, 

With huge onwardness, 

West, south, east, north, poured itself 

Bitterly on the flat earth. 

Three Nature-whipped sentries, 
Tied into their ponchos, 
Pried through the heaving night 
Like tired swimmers. 


Into pure night 

A strand of golden sound 

Weaves a design. 

Life woven in sound 
Is night and song. 

Pathos of a soul 
Inspires the darkness. 

Baker Brownell 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


IT IS difficult to say anything about the war without being 
platitudinous in these days when so much is being said, 
and said often absorbingly well, by people who are in it. And 
yet the emotion of the moment is too keen for silence, even 
if too keen for adequate utterance. What right have we to 
live when so many are dying? What right have we elders 
to send youth into battle while we keep our safe places by 
the fire? What right has the thinker to his problem, the 
artist to his vision, the poet to his song, while fresh lives 
are giving up their hope of thought and art and song ? How 
can we take the new era at our soldiers' hands how can 
we who have laid on their shoulders the burden of the past, 
accept the future from them who should have lived to possess 
it, from them to whom not the past but the future belonged ? 

All other issues seem small beside this heroic issue on 
which we stake those infinitely precious lives. If agriculture 
and commerce become the feeders, the tool-makers, of war, 
the arts seem at first glance to be a pottering with toys, a 
lisping of words, out of relation with these marching armies, 
out of the current of great events. What flattering unction 
shall we poets lay to our bruised souls as we chant our little 
songs while battles are won and lost? What are we doing 
to make the world safe for democracy ? 

Well, it may be that we are doing more than we know. 
Poets have made more wars than kings, and it is for them, 


The War and the Artist 

and not for kings, to make an end of war by removing 
its veil of glamour. Kings are, after all, impotent. It was 
men's imaginations that once gave them power and splendor, 
but for a century or two men's imaginations have been de- 
throning them and stripping their pitiful figures bare. "War 
remains what it always was a contest not so much of ma- 
terial forces as of spiritual forces." And the poet, the artist, 
are makers of spiritual forces, leaders of men's imaginations. 

For years the poets, the artists, have been dictating terms 
of peace to the next age. Every painter of his own wood- 
lot, every poet singing the beauty of working-girls instead 
of queens, or the bravery of common men instead of princes, 
has been doing his bit to democratize the world. The work 
has been done not only by Titans like Whitman but also 
by the sheer mass and weight of lesser men moved by the 
same spirit and leading their neighbors and admirers in the 
same direction. The Kaiser is a man of straw against a force 
like this. Whitman and Millet beat him before he was born 
our soldiers have but to finish the job. 

Never was the artist more necessary than now his free- 
dom of spirit, his self-assertion, his creative fire. When the 
whole world is in the melting-pot, when civilization is to be 
reminted and no one can tell what stamp its face and reverse 
will bear; when ideas, which flowed hitherto in separate 
channels, are gathering into vast tides that overwash the 
boundaries of nations; when this swarming earth, sun-lit, 
moon-guarded, seems a little ball fingered for a throw by 
some colossal Pitcher with his eye on the Ultimate Event 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

then the stand of the individual against immensities, a stand 
always hazardous, becomes a gesture of incredible power and 
pride, an attitude of almost impossible heroism, the lonely 
uprising of a naked pigmy between overpowering hordes and 
the abyss. 

This is the ultimate test of the poet. This must be his 
attitude today between the forces of life and death be- 
tween the embattled nations sweeping decrepit and rotten 
things into the gulf, and those invisible rangers of the air 
whose breath is the future. Puny unit of the unconquer- 
able will, he must hold up his little torch between the old 
and new 

Unhurt amid the war of elements, 

The wreck of matter and the crash of worlds! 

H. M. 


The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne, by Edmund 

Gosse, C. B. The Macmillan Co. 

Gosse's Life of Swinburne is merely the attempt of a 
silly and pompous old man to present a man of genius, an 
attempt necessarily foredoomed to failure and not worth the 
attention of even the most cursive reviewer. Gosse has 
written one excellent book: Father and Son, prompted accord- 
ing to gossip by his wife's fear that Mr. George Moore, hav- 
ing been rashly allowed access to Mr. Gosse's diaries, 
proposed to steal the material. Mr. Gosse has also held 
divers positions of trust under the British government, in 


Swinburne versus Biographers 

one of which, at least, he has fulfilled his functions with 
great credit and fairness. Apart from that he resembles 
many literary figures of about his age and generation, who 
coming after the more or less drunken and more or less 
obstreperous real Victorians, acquired only the cant and 
the fustiness. 

Tennyson, "so muzzy that he tried to go out through 
the fire-place;" Morris (William, not Lewis) lying on the 
floor biting the table-leg in a rage because Gabriel had gone 
off before he, Morris, had finished what he was saying; Swin- 
burne at the Madox Browns' door in a cab, while the house- 
keeper lectures the cabman: "Wot! No, sir, my marster is 
at the 'ead of 'is table carving the j'int. That's Mr. 
Swinburne taike 'im up to the barth:" were all vital and 
human people. The real pre-raphaelites lived with Ford 
Madox Brown's hospitable address sewn inside their coats, 
in case of these little events. Tennyson, personally the 
North-country ox, might very well take refuge from his 
deplorable manners in verbal patisserie; Thackeray might 
snivvel over not being allowed to write with desirable 
openness: most of these people surround themselves with ex- 
tenuations, but for the next generation there is not much 
to be said save that they go like better men toward extinc- 
tion. We do not however wish a Swinburne coated with 
veneer of British officialdom and decked out for a psalm- 
singing audience. 

Gosse in the safety of his annual pension of 666, 16 
shillings, 8 pence, has little to fear from the slings of fortune 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

or from the criticisms of younger men. If he preferred 
to present Swinburne as an epileptic rather than as an in- 
temperate drinker, we can only attribute this to his taste, 
a taste for kowtowing. 

The "events at the art club," which he so prudishly glozes 
over, were the outcome of alcohol, and the story is worth 
while if only for the magnificent tanning that Whistler 
administered to the Arts Club committee : "You ought to be 
proud that there is in London a club where the greatest 
poet of your time can get drunk if he wants to, otherwise 
he might lie in the gutter." 

There is more Swinburne, and perhaps more is to be told 
of his tragedy, in a few vignettes than is to be found in all 
Gosse's fusty volume. Swinburne's tragedy was that he 
ended as a deaf, querulous old man in Putney, mediocre in 
his faculties. W. H. Davies tells the story of the little 
old man looking into a perambulator in front of a pub, 
and a cockney woman hastily interposing herself and pulling 
the clothes over her infant's head with, "Narsty old man, 
'e sharn't look at my baby." 

Thus departed his mundane glory, the glory of a red 
mane, the glory of the strong swimmer, of the swimmer 
who when he was pulled out of the channel apparently 
drowned, came to and held his French fishermen rescuers 
spellbound all the way to shore declaiming page after page 
of Hugo. 

As George Moore, in his writings, nearly always attributes 
to himself the witty remarks wherewith other men have 


Swinburne versus Biographers 

extinguished him in conversation, we may be pardoned for 
another tale, which may as likely as not contain verity. It 
is said that Moore desired greatly to look upon Swinburne, 
and having obtained his address repaired to the Temple, and 
heavily climbing the stairs heard noises 

come fa mar per tempesta. 

They proceeded from Swinburne's rooms. Moore knocked 
the door was already open. No answer was given. The 
booming increased and diminished and increased. Moore 
entered the room was empty; he proceeded to the next 
open door, and to still another. He stood aghast; Swin- 
burne, hair on end and stark naked, strode backwards and 
forwards howling Aeschylus. Moore stood paralyzed. 
Swinburne after some moments caught sight of him; thun- 
dered "What the hell do you want?" Moore summoned 
his waning powers of expression, and with mountainous 
effort brought forth the verbal mouse: "Please, sir, are these 
Mr. Jones' chambers?" 

'Wo, sir!" 

Whereat Mr. George Moore departed. 

It is impossible that a self-respecting biographer should not 
have found many such tales of Swinburne. The anaemic 
Gosse prefers the epileptic version. Any poet might be 
justified in taking to drink on finding himself born into a 
world full of Gosses, Comstocks, and Sumners. 

Swinburne's art is out of fashion. The best imitations of 
him are by the Germans. The nineties refined upon him, 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

and Kipling has set his 'cello-tunes to the pilly-wink of one 

Swinburne recognized poetry as an art, and as an art of 
verbal music. Keats had got so far as to see that it need 
not be the pack-mule of philosophy. Swinburne's actual writ- 
ing is very often rather distressing, but a deal of his verse 
is no worse written than Shelley's Ode to the West Wind. 
He habitually makes a fine stanzaic form, writes one or two 
fine strophes in it, and then continues to pour into the mould 
strophes of diminishing quality. 

His biography is perfectly well written in his work. He 
is never better than in the Ballad of Life, the Ballad of 
Death, and the Triumph of Time. To the careful reader 
this last shows quite clearly that Swinburne was actually 
broken by a real and not by a feigned emotional catastrophe 
early in life ; of this his later slow decline is a witness. There 
is a lack of intellect in his work. After the poems in the 
Laus Veneris volume (not particularly the title poem) and 
the poems of the time when he made his magnificent adapta- 
tions from Villon, he had few rallies of force, one of them 
in Sienna. 

He neglected the value of words as words, and was in- 
tent on their value as sound. His habit of -choice grew 
mechanical, and he himself perceived it and parodied his own 

Moderns more awake to the value of language will read 
him with increasing annoyance, but I think few men who 
read him before their faculty for literary criticism is awak- 


Swinburne versus Biographers 

ened the faculty for purely literary discrimination as con- 
trasted with melopoeic discrimination will escape the en- 
thusiasm of his emotions, some of which were indubitably 
real. At any rate we can, whatever our verbal fastidious- 
ness, be thankful for any man who kept alive some spirit of 
paganism and of revolt in a papier-mache era, in a time 
swarming with Longfellows, Mabies, Gosses, Harrisons. 

After all, the whole of his defects can be summed up in 
one that is, inaccurate writing; and this by no means ubiqui- 
tous. To quote his magnificent passages is but to point 
out familiar things in our landscape. Hertha is fit for pro- 
fessors and young ladies in boarding-school. The two ballads 
and the Triumph of Life are full of sheer imagism, of pas- 
sages faultless. 

No one else has made such music in English, I mean has 
made his kind of music ; and it is a music which will compare 
with Chaucer's Hide Absalon thi gilte tresses clere or with 
any other maker you like. 

The Villon translations stand with Rossetti's and the 
Rubaiyat among the Victorian translations. The ballad, 
Where ye droon ane man I drown twa, is as "fine as any 
reconstruction, and the cross- rhythms are magnificent. The 
Itylus, the Ballad of Burdens what is the use of naming 
over poems so familiar to all of us ! 

"As yet you get no whole or perfect poet." He and 
Browning are the best of the Victorian era; and Browning 
wrote to a theory of the universe, thereby cutting off a fair 
half of the moods for expression. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

No man who cares for his art can be deaf to the rhythms 
of Swinburne, deaf to their splendor, deaf also to their bathos. 
The sound of Dolores is in places like that of horses' hoofs 
being pulled out of mud. The sound in a poem of sleep 
is so heavy that one can hardly read it aloud, the voice is 
drawn into a slumber. (I am not sure that this effect is 
'not excessive, and that it does not show the author over- 
shooting his mark; but for all that it shows ability in his 
craft, and has, whatever one's final opinion, an indisputable 
value as experiment.) Swinburne's surging and leaping 
dactyllics had no comparable forerunners in English. 

His virtues might be largely dug from the Greeks, and 
his faults mostly traceable to Victor Hugo. But a percep- 
tion of the beauties of Greek melopoeia does not constitute 
a mastery in the creation of similar melopoeia. The rhythm- 
building faculty was in Swinburne, and was perhaps the 
chief part of his genius. The word-selecting, word-castigat- 
ing faculty was nearly absent. Unusual and gorgeous words 
attracted him. His dispraisers say that his vocabulary is one 
of the smallest at any poet's command, and that he uses 
the same adjectives to depict either a woman or a sunset. 
There are times when this last is not, or need not be, ipso 
facto a fault. There is an emotional fusion of the percep- 
tions, and a certain kind of verbal confusion has an emotive 
value in writing; but this is of all sorts of writing the most 
dangerous to an author, and the unconscious collapse into 
this sort of writing has wrecked more poets in our time 
than perhaps all other faults put together. 


Swinburne versus Biographers 

Forth, ballad, and take roses in thine arms, 
Even till the top rose prick thee in the throat 
Where the least thorn-prick harms; 
And gird thee in the golden singing coat. . . . 
Borgia, thy gold hair's color burns in me. . . . 

The splendid lines mount up in one's memory and over- 
whelm any minute restrictions of one's praise. It is the 
literary fashion to write exclusively of Swinburne's defects; 
and the fashion is perhaps not a bad one, for the public 
is still, and will presumably remain, indiscriminate. Defects 
are in Swinburne by the bushelful: the discriminating reader 
will not be able to overlook them, and need not condone 
them; neither will he be swept off his feet by detractors. 
There are in Swinburne fine passages, like fragments of 
fine marble statues ; there are fine transcripts from the Greek : 

A little soul for a little bears up this corpse which is man. 
And there is, underneath all the writing, a magnificent pas- 
sion for liberty a passion dead as mutton in most of his 
contemporaries, and immeasurably deader than mutton in a 
people who allow their literature to be blanketed by a Corn- 
stock and his successors; for liberty is not merely a catch- 
word of politics, nor a right to shove little slips of paper 
through a hole. The passion not merely for political, but 
also .for personal, liberty is the bedrock of Swinburne's writ- 
ing. The sense of tragedy, and of the unreasoning cruelty 
of the gods, hangs over it. He fell into facile writing, and 
he accepted a facile compromise for life; but no facile solu- 
tion for his universe. His unbelief did not desert him; no, 
not even in Putney. Ezra Pound 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 


Lustra, by Ezra Pound. Elkin Mathews, London; and 

Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 

Reading in a single volume Ezra Pound's poems of the 
last few years, one discovers, or at least should discover, in 
oneself a certain misjudgment of this poet. Though he has 
the habit of putting his unpopular foot forward, so that one 
must be on one's guard, he is not the extremist, the bete noir, 
one had thought him. 

Neither in form nor in substance is he the radical so 
many readers have assumed himto be. What with his quan- 
tities, stresses, alliterations, iterations and heaven only knows 
what, his style is certainly not anarchical nor arbitrary. On 
the contrary, it is elaborate; his forms are much more diffi- 
cult, and require more fineness of touch, than a sonnet. 
Neither is he the extremist in his choice of subjects; indeed, 
he seems almost timid about them. One might imagine that 
this poet would not dare treaf a subject that had not been 
sanctified, or the reverse, by Catullus, Villon, Arnaut 
Daniel, or some other ancient of the many he knows. 

What are Pound's most important qualities? and what 
are his most important contributions to English poetry? 

To me his most important quality is grace. No matter 
what he takes up, it melts into extreme grace. Grace is 
present in the idea as well as in the form. The movement of 
many of his poems suggests what a Greek dance must have 
been like; they are rhythmical with a deep, solemn, graceful 
rhythm, with never a shade of triviality or vulgarity. One 


A Glass-blower of Time 

can find proof of this almost anywhere in the book: in 
Dance Figure, in The Spring. Here is a part of The Fish 
and the Shadow: 

As light as the shadow of the fish that falls through the water, 

She came into the large room by the stair. 

Yawning a little she came, with the sleep still upon her. 

"I am just from bed. The sleep is still in my eyes. 
Come. I have had a long dream." 

And I : "That wood ? 

And two springs have passed us." 

"Not so far, no, not so far now, 

There is a place but no one else knows it 

A field in a valley, 

Qui'ieu sui avinen 
leu lo sai." 

"She must speak of the time 

Of Arnaut de Mareuil," I thought, "qu'ieu sui avinen." 

Light as the shadow of the fish 

That falls through the pale green water. 

Or this from the River Song: 

The purple house and the crimson are full of spring softness. 

South of the pond the willow-tips are half blue and bluer; 

Their cords tangle in mist against the brocade-like palace. 

Vine-strings a hundred feet long hang down from the carved rail- 

And high over the willows the fine birds sing to each other and 

Crying "Kwan, Kuan," for the early wind and the feel of it. 

The wind bundles itself into a bluish cloud and wanders off. 

Over a thousand gates, over a thousand doors, are the sounds of 
spring singing. 

His other important quality is clearness. Pound speaks 
of having seen the dome of pure color: it is this purity 
of C olor wliich distinguishes him. In Provincia Deserta 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

is a rich emotionalism, in The Social Order II is humor, 
in Cabaret Dancer is robustness All these qualities are 
found in other poets writing in free or metric verse; yet 
the extreme cleanness and clearness with which these effects 
are expressed is the mark of Pound's uncompromising art- 

Of course readers will be irritated by one thing or another 
in this book. The very subtle grace to which almost every 
poem-subject is reduced the butterfly grace which gives it 
a sort of rarefied atmosphere together with the absolutely 
flawless technique, will irritate some readers. There is also 
the feeling, to put it very crudely, of the poet-reformer with 
which he seems possessed. This may be needed, perhaps 
more needed than anything else; yet the mind slightly re- 
sents it. 

Outside of the Chinese group of which his friend Ford 
Madox Hueffer writes intriguingly that if they were Pound's 
own they alone would make him the greatest poet of our 
time some readers will feel a lack of pabulum. It is not 
more lyrical poems like Provincia Deserta, nor more robust 
poems like Cabaret Dancer that would best make up for 
this need; but rather poems in the manner of The Return, 
with the infinite possibilities of the fantastic-real. 

Our resentment though is often due to the fact that our 
palates have been spoiled by the cloying sweetness of much 
of what we read. The lack of pabulum is often only super- 
ficial. When Pound writes of a beautiful woman 

The odor of your patchouli . . . 

Assails me, and concerns me almost as little 


A Glass-blower of Time 

the lines, though seemingly trivial, will mean much to a 
mind which can grasp the delicacy of balance between the 
two objects. 

Pound is an important poet of our era, just as other poets 
who are now classics were of their eras. He is not hard 
reading, or mysterious, or anything else uncanny. Any in- 
telligent person who comes to him with an open mind will 
feel much of his beauty. It is only the denseness of many of 
our established opinion-makers which has kept thousands of 
lovers of poetry away. 

This poet evidently pays his respect to such critics in The 
Faun : 

Ha! sir, I have seen you sniffing and snoozling about among my 


And what, pray, do you know about horticulture, you capriped? 
Come, Auster, come Areliota, 
And see the Faun in our garden! 
But if you move or speak 
This thing will run at you 
And scare itself to spasms. 

Max Michelson 


An Annual of New Poetry, 1917. Constable and Co., Ltd. 
An anthology has the same advantages that an exhibition 
of pictures has, and it has also the same disadvantages. It 
introduces work that might otherwise not gain the attention 
of the public; and, on the other hand, it gives us perhaps 
too slight a showing of any one man's work for that full 
understanding which comes with a more extended view. But 


POETRY: A Magazine of Vcrtt 

whether retrospective or contemporary, anthologies and ex- 
hibitions are usually very vital things, since they enable us 
to perceive the work of various poets and artists in juxtaposi- 
tion; making it incumbent upon the reader or observer to 
make his own choice and selection and thereby become, as 
Mr. Spingarn claims, a critic who is also creative. Cer- 
tainly the task of reviewing an anthology of contemporary 
work, unless it be merely perfunctory, is far more difficult 
than that of reviewing a single author and making choice of 
pictures or poems that all have a certain unity in per- 
sonality and style; particularly when, as in the present case, 
the work represented is not dominated by any intention to 
write in any given way or to follow any definite school or 

Of the eight contributors to this annual, Gordon Bot- 
tomley, W. H. Davies, John Drinkwater, Edward Eastaway, 
Robert Frost, W. W. Gibson, T. Sturge Moore, R. C. 
Trevelyan, all are Englishmen except Robert Frost; though 
this of itself is, of course, no guarantee of unity either. Yet 
the poets seem to be divided somewhat into groups: Messrs. 
Drinkwater, Davies and Gibson in one; and Messrs. Bot- 
tomley, Eastaway and Frost in another; with Mr. Moore 
and Mr. Trevelyan in the third. Of course this grouping 
applies only to this collection, and is not meant in too strict 
a sense. 

The first group we may call the Wordsworthian. These 
poets seem to follow the Wordsworthian convention of mak- 
ing simple folks more simple than they really are. One re- 


A Group of English Contemporaries 

calls in this connection Poe's ''Why with William on a stone 
when we can have Jacques under an oak?" In Mr. Davies 
this tendency falls to the level of such a poem as Brothers, 
which pictures imbecility in a truly imbecile fashion. In Mr. 
Drinkwater's section we have a pretty picture of a group of 
working people falling under the spell of nature, in pre- 
Wordsworthian style, out from "the city of mean emprise" 
into the world of June : 

Beneath cool clustered branch and bloom, 
Littered with stars of amethyst, 
Sun-arrows glancing through the gloom, 
They slept; the lush young bracken kissed 
The tired forms. Ah, wellaway, 
Within so wide a peace to see 
Fellows who measure every day 
Merely the roads of misery. 

In Mr. Gibson this tendency amounts almost to a fixed 
idea. And what can one say of the monotony of Mr. Gib- 
son's style? Is there any reason why poetic diction should 
be subjected to less stringent criticism than the language 
of prose? Must we accept in poetry what would prove in- 
sufferable in prose? A part of the monotony of Mr. Gibson's 
style comes from his persistent use of the colorless nameless 
third person "he," who is the protagonist of all the poems 
but who never does anything of himself or without Mr. 
Gibson's prompting. And one continually feels Mr. Gibson 
prompting. One gets the gist of the poems at three removes 
what the author says "he" thinks or feels about things. 
"He sniffed the clean and eager smell;" "He liked the daf- 
fodils" until the "he"-ness or "her"-ness amounts to a 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

positive grayness that blunts the mind. And through all this 
writing about "him" or "her," one becomes conscious of a 
growing resentment that Mr. Gibson should so persistently 
exploit, in poetry, the working classes. It amounts to a 
literary propaganda, and, like much social propaganda, it 
carries with it the suspicion of a rather patronizing attitude. 
Folk poetry, of or about the people, is never class-conscious. 
One feels continually that this poet is. One feels, as Dos- 
toevsky said, that this is "a 'gentleman' writing about the 

We find a very different spirit in the poetry of T. Sturge 
Moore and R. C. Trevelyan, for whom today and yesterday 
are one. Mr. Sturge Moore, having chosen, or been chosen 
by, a Biblical subject, invests it with new imaginative atmos- 
phere and through the intensive study of character and mood 
creates and developes a crisis that is sharply modern. Mr. 
Moore's verse is involved, but it has beautiful texture; and, 
however involved his style is, one realizes that it is so on 
account of the nature of the thought, which it follows and 
reveals; whereas the poetic inversions to which one objects 
are those awkward externalities which are merely makeshifts 
and reveal nothing. (It is unfortunate for Mr. Garnett's 
recommendation of this annual as a good-style book that the 
first poem in it should be an example of what not to do in 
the matter of inversions.) 

An even more exotic note is found in The Pearl Tree, 
by R. C. Trevelyan. If this is not a translation, it is an 
even more remarkable production, having the very spirit 


A Group of English Contemporaries 

and accent of the Hindu originals, which celebrate the loves 
of Krishna and Radha with that union of secular and divine 
love which is so astonishing to our cruder western minds. 
This is a poem in the form of a drama, very beautiful in 
conception and verse. 

There is a new intensive lyricism in the work of Gordon 
Bottomley, Edward Eastaway, and Robert Frost a new 
landscape, a new life. Other men have looked on the earth 
to love it, but with less sense of a merged identity. Other 
men have written of love or of nature, but in a more general 
way love being love and with less precision in regard to 
the emotion. These men know the value of the thing so 
often disregarded, they appreciate the shadow as well as the 
light; and as Mr. Frost says in The Oven Bird, 

The question that he frames in all but words 
Is what to make of a diminished thing. 

Mr. Frost is represented here almost exclusively in a pastoral 
vein, no doubt to bring him in closer harmony with the 
others, but one wishes that his Hill Wije, which is one of the 
most beautful and perhaps the most lyric of his poems, could 
also have been included. 

Mr. Bottomley's poetry has a personal and intimate charm, 
and the quality noted above is apparent in such poems as 
Atlantis, Sinai, A Surrey Night, and New Years Eve, 1913. 
Unfortunately much of his work is marred by awkward in- 
versions, as in The Ploughman, and by occasional infelicities 
of sound (unconsidered apparently by Mr. Garnett) as in 

The thin light films a wider sky 
Than I have lived beneath. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

His blank verse has a greater security of style than one finds 
in the stanzaic poems, although one may question if 

Because I have no body to hide my thoughts 
That are being scanned, as if by unseen eyes, 
Perused and judged, ineluctably judged, 
I shivering in that exposury 
Until dissemination is complete, 

representing a certain rush of words to the pen, represents 
also that distinction of style which the American poet is 
advised to emulate. 

The poems of Edward Eastaway (the pseudonym of Ed- 
ward Thomas, who was killed in action last April) are 
like hazel nuts hid in a hedge. Their meaning only shyly 
reveals itself; the words play with it and then reveal it, 
although they are sometimes twisted and crossed a little, 
like the branches of a tree through which the sky is more 
beautiful. This poet experiences nature not as something 
seen, outside one's self, but within one. His identity is only 
complete through nature. The secret of it is in the poem 
called Beauty: 

What does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease, 

No man, woman, or child alive could please 

Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh 

Because I sit and frame an epitaph 

"Here lies all that no one loved of him 

And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim 

Has wearied. But, though I am like a river 

At fall of evening when it seems that never 

Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while 

Cross breezes cut the surface to a file, 

This heart, some fraction of me, happily 

Floats through the window even now to a tree 

Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale, 

Not like a pewit that returns to wail 


A Group of English Contemporaries 

For something it has lost, but like a dove 
That slants unswerving to its home and love. 
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air 
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there. 

One would like to quote more from Mr. Thomas, but al- 
ready an American edition of his poems has been published 
by Henry Holt & Co., and readers will appreciate for them- 
selves this poet's rare quality. A. C. H. 


Some Imagist Poets, 1917. Houghton Mifflin Co. 

In this anthology we meet again the six poets who have 
appeared under this title in the volumes of 1915 and 1916; 
each one a little less provocative and challenging, it may be, 
now that imagism has become a staple in the market. That 
is the way with all rebels they will go and get accepted 
and become fashionable. Nowadays everyone is writing 
imagist vers libre, or what the writers conceive as such, par- 
ticularly those who at the beginning made the most outcry 
against it. Free verse is now accepted in good society, where 
rhymed verse is even considered a little shabby and old- 

The term Imagism was invented to fit a certain element 
of poetry, involving also a certain artistic approach or method. 
The name alone was new this and the determination of a 
small group of poets living in London to write poetry as 
entirely imagistic as possible. All the poets have been 
imagistic at times, some more consistently than others. In 
the March, 1913, number of POETRY, Mr. Ezra Pound de- 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

fined an "image" as "that which presents an intellectual and 
emotional complex in an instant of time:" a definition to 
which all who are in doubt upon the subject should be re- 

Unfortunately, imagism has now come to mean almost any 
kind of poetry written in unrhymed irregular verse, and "the 
image" referred solely to the visual sense is taken to mean 
some sort of a pictorial impression! 

Even so astute a critc as Padraic Colum says, in a recent 
review of Arthur Symons' "All are most efficiently ren- 
dered, and as one reads them one queries why the imagists, 
if they want only to render the visible thing, should strive 
after a new technique." 

Yet, even though imagism has become more of 'a catch- 
word than a key to understanding, the imagists, early and 
late, have added much to our enjoyment, not only as poets, 
but as sprightly antagonists. In the latter aspect, they have 
shown a marked disposition to "come back at" their critics. 
Adverse criticism has been as meat and bread to them. It 
has furnished them with the most capital material for ad- 
vertisements, the one that I remember best being that in 
which certain unfavorable, not to say vicious, remarks by 
Professor William Ellery Leonard were set side by side 
with extracts from the Blackwoods article condemning John 
Keats under the bold caption, Is History Repeating Itself? 

But to turn to the present volume. It is not with any 
light mood that one reads the poems of Richard Aldington, 
filled as these are with the note of regret, the unhappiness 


Imagism: Secular and Esoteric 

of the conscript who has no taste for war and who is too 
honest to bolster up his spirits with any false enthusiasm. He 
records instead the few moments that he can steal off by 
himself, he longs for solitude, and if he refers to the war 
and to his condition it is only through allusion, inevitably 
Greek; as in Captive: 

They have torn the gold tettinx 
From my hair; 

And wrenched the bronze sandals 
From my ankles. 

They have taken from me my friend 
Who knew the holy wisdom of poets, 
Who had drunk at the feast 
Where Simonides sang. 

One always gets the effect of a double image when reading 
Aldington's poems, it is like watching Hyacinth looking at 
his own reflection ; but in this case it is a young Englishman 
who sees himself as a Greek youth. One would like, occa- 
sionally, to feel the image more single. Curiously enough, 
these poems are more like H. D.'s in method than Mr. 
Aldington's usually are particularly Inarticulate Grief, and 
they seem less like the poet of Choricos, who has more 
fluency than H. D. Mr. Aldington has never surpassed 
that poem. He may hate it, because it is so often quoted; 
but it has permanence, nevertheless. 

One detects a deeper note of passion in H. D.'s poems. 
What her work lacks is sequence the kind of music that 
involves and envelopes the thing. It is hard to read more 
than two or three of the poems at a time because of a certain 
broken quality. It remnids one of the work of certain 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

modern painters who are so intent on giving "form" to 
each object in a picture that the whole lacks cohesion. 
Poetry is the language of crisis, and H. D.'s verse is admir- 
ably adapted to passionate utterance, but all crisis and no 
relief is like a jewel with no setting. Her work could be 
more fluid without loss of precision. 

Mr. Fletcher's poems are more descriptive than usual, a 
tendency which he knows how to avoid on occasion, although 
it sometimes swamps his poems. In these verses his words 
seem to have been mustered into service somewhat un- 
willingly. They serve his mood, but they do not themselves 
create or evoke the mood as in some of his most distinctive 

The war seems to have had a peculiarly unhappy effect 
upon Mr. Flint's poetry; it is almost purely reportorial, with- 
out the excuse of journalism, which is to convey news. Bare 
statement, even statement of sensations, will not of itself 
make a poem. Mr. Lawrence, on the other hand, is intro- 
spective to the point of obscurity, but he is not in the least 
unintelligible to one who understands states of consciousness 
beneath the surface. Terra Nuova records a psychological 
experience with the sort of unflinching truth which one has 
learned to expect from Mr. Lawrence. There are, perhaps, 
people so undifferentiated that they could not possibly under- 
stand what Mr. Lawrence "is driving at:" to them this 
poem will be as dark as the tomb. 

Miss Lowell's contribution to the book is a series of 
Lacquer Prints, translations or reflections from the Japanese, 



expressed with true Japanese brevity, delicacy of feeling, al- 
though a little more terse and epigramatic than one feels 
Japanese originals to be. A. C. H. 


Mr. Alfred Kreymborg, of New York, is well known as the 
author of Mushrooms (Alfred A. Knopf), and the founder and 
first editor of Others, the interesting and provocative organ of the 
more radical vers-librists. When the Willow Nods, as the readers 
of POETRY were informed in our January number, was given for 
the first time by the Players' Club of St. Louis, on the evening of 
December third, Mr. Orrick Johns enacting the cryptic commentator 
with an effect of rare dramatic beauty. The play, or dance-accom- 
panied monologue if the miming girl and boys may be said to 
have danced proved to be born for the stage, and its author was 
saluted by the enthusiastic audience as a poetic playwright of rare 

Lieutenant Baker Brownell, who has been for some months in 
training at Camp Doniphan, Ok., and Fort Myers, Fla., makes his 
initial appearance as a poet. St. Charles, 111., is his birthplace and 
residence; in 1912-13 he held the James Walker travelling fellow- 
ship in philosophy from Harvard, and since then he has done 
journalistic and editorial work until he entered the army. 

A still younger poet is Mr. Emanuel Carnevali, of New York, 
who was born in Florence twenty years ago, was educated in Italian 
technical schools, and came to America at sixteen. Since then he 
has earned his living in various difficult ways, studied English, 
and written his first poems in both languages. He writes: "I 
want to become an American poet because I have, in my mind, 
rejected Italian standards of good literature. I do not like Car- 

ducci, still less d'Annunzio Of American authors I have 

read, pretty well, Poe, Whitman, Twain, Harte, London, Oppen- 
heim and Waldo Frank. I believe in free verse. I try not tc 

Mr. Edwin Curran, of Zanesville, O., is also a stranger to printer's 
ink. He is a telegraph operator on duty in a railroad tower from 
10 P. M. to 6 A. M., and most of his writing is done in the wee 
sma' hours. 


POETRY: A Magazine of Verse 

Another poet new to our readers, though a contributor to Reedy's 
Mirror, The Smart Set and other magazines, is Susan M. Boogher 
(Mrs. John P.), of St. Louis. 

Miss Gladys Cromwell, of New York, who has appeared before 
in POETRY, is the author of The Gates of Utterance (Sherman, 
French & Co.). Miss Cromwell sailed for France last month to work 
for the Red Cross. 



Trackless Regions, by G. O. Warren. B. H. Blackwell, Oxford, Eng. 
Heart Songs, by Henry Weston Frost. Gorham Press. 
Service Rhymes, by Burt Franklin Jenness. Privately printed, El 

Paso, Texas. 
The Trench Lad and Other Poems, by .Saxe Churchill Stimson. 

Gorham Press. 
Songs of the Skokie and Other Verse, by Anne Higginson Spicer. 

Ralph Fletcher Seymour, Chicago. 

The Door of Dreams, by Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Houghton Mifflin Co. 
Renascence and Other Poems, by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Mitchell 


Hillsboro in the War, by Richard D. Ware. Gorham Press. 
Clusters of Poetry, by Daniel Veldring. Privately printed, Chicago. 

Sunflowers a Book of Kansas Poems, selected by Willard Wattles. 

A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago. 
The Poets of the Futurea College Anthology for 1916-17, edited 

by Henry T. Schnittkind. Stratford Co. 

Dialogues of Fontenelle, translated by Ezra Pound. The Egoist, 

Ltd., London. 
Songs of Hafiz, translated by Edna Worthley Underwood. Four 

Seas Co. 
The Undying Spirit of France, by Maurice Barres, translated by 

W. B. Corwin with a foreword by Theodore Stanton. Yale 

Univ. Press. 

The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne, by Edmund Gosse. Mac- 
mi 11 an Co. 



BINDIMG 3.127. OFC201962